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    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








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    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( the rf +, a m'sterious re-ation"

    . / / / Let us sa' it $ith a sentiment of

    )rofound res)ect0 1ES2S WEPT0 VOLTAIRE S3ILED"

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

    s$eetness of the )resent ci%i-i4ation"#

    VICTOR &2O"




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     T&E RT" &ON" 1O&N 3ORLE6



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    A3D C2RIO2S [email protected]

    COP6RI&T =>?=

    !6 E" R" Du3oNT

    OWNED !6



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    AKRON( O&iO





    [email protected]

    if8 8




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    VOL" III"



    VOL" VII



    AT LES DELICES " " " Frontis)iece

     T&E DEAT& OF COLIN6 """" 7

    CAT&ERINE II" OF R2SSIA """" =7




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    WE &AVE s)oen of -o%e" It is hard to )ass from

    )eo)-e issin* to )eo)-e eatin* one another" It is(

    ho$e%er( ut too true that there ha%e een cannia-s"

    We ha%e found them in America G the' are( )erha)s(

    sti-- to e found G and the C'c-o)s $ere not the on-'

    indi%idua-s in antiHuit' $ho sometimes fed on human

    esh" 1u%ena- re-ates that amon* the E*')tians

    that $ise )eo)-e( so reno$ned for their -a$s those

    )ious $orshi))ers of crocodi-es and onions the

     Tent'rites ate one of their enemies $ho had fa--en

    into their hands" &e does not te-- this ta-e on hear8

    sa'G the crime $as committed a-most efore his

    e'es G he $as then in E*')t( and not far from Ten8

    t'ra" On this occasion he Huotes the ascons and

    the Sa*untines( $ho former-' fed on the esh of

    their countr'men"

    In =< four sa%a*es $ere rou*ht from the 3is8

    sissi))i to Fontaine-eau( $ith $hom I had the honor

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    of con%ersin*" There $as amon* them a -ad' of the

    countr'( $hom I ased if she had eaten menG she

    ans$ered( $ith *reat sim)-icit' that she had" I a)8

    )eared some$hat scanda-i4ed G on $hich she eB8


    @ Phi-oso)hica-

    cused herse-f ' sa'in* that it $as etter to eat one5s

    dead enem' than to -ea%e him to e de%oured '

    $i-d easts( and that the conHuerors deser%ed to ha%e

    the )reference" We i-- our nei*hors in att-es( or

    sirmishes G and( for the meanest consideration( )ro8

    %ide mea-s for the cro$s and the $orms" There is

    the horrorG there is the crime" What matters it(

    $hen a man is dead( $hether he is eaten ' a so-dier(

    or ' a do* and a cro$J

    We ha%e more res)ect for the dead than for the

    -i%in*" It $ou-d e etter to res)ect oth the one and

    the other" The nations ca--ed )o-ished ha%e done

    ri*ht in not )uttin* their %anHuished enemies on the

    s)it G for if $e $ere a--o$ed to eat our nei*hors( $e

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    shou-d soon eat our countr'men( $hich $ou-d e

    rather unfortunate for the socia- %irtues" !ut )o-8

    ished nations ha%e not a-$a's een so G the' $ere a--

    for a -on* time sa%a*e G and( in the innite numer

    of re%o-utions $hich this *-oe has under*one( man8

    ind ha%e een sometimes numerous and sometimes

    scarce" It has een $ith human ein*s as it no$

    is $ith e-e)hants( -ions( or ti*ers( the race of $hich

    has %er' much decreased" In times $hen a countr'

    $as ut thin-' inhaited ' men( the' had fe$ arts G

    the' $ere hunters" The custom of eatin* $hat the'

    had i--ed easi-' -ed them to treat their enemies -ie

    their sta*s and their oars" It $as su)erstition that

    caused human %ictims to e immo-ated G it $as neces8

    sit' that caused them to e eaten"

    Which is the *reater crime to assem-e )ious-'


    to*ether to )-un*e a nife into the heart of a *ir-

    adorned $ith --ets( or to eat a $orth-ess man $ho

    has een i--ed in our o$n defenceJ

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     6et $e ha%e man' more instances of *ir-s and

    o's sacriced than of *ir-s and o's eaten" A-most

    e%er' nation of $hich $e no$ an'thin* has sacri8

    ced o's and *ir-s" The 1e$s immo-ated them"

     This $as ca--ed the AnathemaG it $as a rea- sacri8

    ceG and in Le%iticus it is ordained that the -i%in*

    sou-s $hich sha-- e de%oted sha-- not e s)ared G ut

    it is not in an' manner )rescried that the' sha-- e

    eaten G this is on-' threatened" 3oses te--s the 1e$s

    that un-ess the' oser%e his ceremonies the' sha--

    not on-' ha%e the itch( ut the mothers sha-- eat their

    chi-dren" It is true that in the time of E4eie- the

     1e$s must ha%e een accustomed to eat human esh G

    for( in his thirt'8ninth cha)ter( he forete--s to them

    that od $i-- cause them to eat( not on-' the horses

    of their enemies( ut moreo%er the horsemen and the

    rest of the $arriors" And( indeed( $h' shou-d not

    the 1e$s ha%e een cannia-s J It $as the on-' thin*

    $antin* to mae the )eo)-e of od the most aom8

    ina-e )eo)-e u)on earth"


    In the essa' on the #3anners and S)irit of Na8

    tions# $e read the fo--o$in* sin*u-ar )assa*e 0

    #&errera assures us that the 3eBicans ate the human

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    %ictims $hom the' immo-ated" 3ost of the rst

    tra%e--ers and missionaries sa' that the !ra4i-ians(

    the Cariees( the IroHuois( the &urons( and some

    7 Phi-oso)hica-

    other tries( ate their ca)ti%es taen in $ar G and the'

    do not consider this as the )ractice of some indi%id8

    ua-s a-one( ut as a nationa- usa*e" So man' $riters(

    ancient and modern( ha%e s)oen of cannia-s( that

    it is dicu-t to den' their eBistence" A huntin*

    )eo)-e( -ie the !ra4i-ians or the Canadians( not

    a-$a's ha%in* a certain susistence( ma' sometimes

    ecome cannia-s" Famine and re%en*e accustomed

    them to this ind of foodG and $hi-e in the most

    ci%i-i4ed a*es $e see the )eo)-e of Paris de%ourin*

    the -eedin* remains of 3arsha- d5Ancre( and the

    )eo)-e of The &a*ue eatin* the heart of the *rand

    )ensionar'( De Witt( $e ou*ht not to e sur)rised

    that a momentar' outra*e amon* us has een con8

    tinua- amon* sa%a*es"

    #The most ancient oos $e ha%e -ea%e no room

    to dout that hun*er has dri%en men to this eBcess"

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     The )ro)het E4eie-( accordin* to some commen8

    tators( )romises to the &ere$s from od that if

    the' defend themse-%es $e-- a*ainst the in* of

    Persia( the' sha-- eat of 5the esh of horses and of

    mi*ht' men"5

    #3arco Po-o sa's that in his time in a )art of

     Tartar' the ma*icians or )riests it $as the same

    thin* had the )ri%i-e*e of eatin* the esh of crim8

    ina-s condemned to death" A-- this is shocin* to

    the fee-in*s G ut the )icture of humanit' must

    often ha%e the same eMect"

    #&o$ can it ha%e een that nations constant-'

    se)arated from one another ha%e united in so horri-e

    Dictionar'" >

    a customJ 3ust $e e-ie%e that it is not so aso-ute-'

    o))osed to human nature as it a))ears to eJ It is

    certain that it has een rare( ut it is eHua--' certain

    that it has eBisted" It is not no$n that the Tartars

    and the 1e$s often ate their fe--o$ creatures" Durin*

    the sie*es of Sancerre and Paris( in our re-i*ious

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    $ars( hun*er and des)air com)e--ed mothers to feed

    on the esh of their chi-dren" The charita-e Las

    Casas( isho) of Chia)a( sa's that this horror $as

    committed in America( on-' ' some nations amon*

    $hom he had not tra%e--ed" Dam)ierre assures us

    that he ne%er met $ith cannia-sG and at this da'

    there are not( )erha)s( an' tries $hich retain this

    horri-e custom"#

    Americus Ves)ucius sa's in one of his -etters that

    the !ra4i-ians $ere much astonished $hen he made

    them understand that for a -on* time the Euro)eans

    had not eaten their )risoners of $ar"

    Accordin* to 1u%ena-5s fteenth satire( the as8

    cons and the S)aniards had een *ui-t' of this ar8

    arit'" &e himse-f $itnessed a simi-ar aomination

    in E*')t durin* the consu-ate of 1unius" A Huarre-

    ha))enin* et$een the inhaitants of Tent'ra and

    those of Omi( the' fou*ht G and an Omian ha%in*

    fa--en into the hands of the Tent'rians( the' had

    him cooed( and ate him( a-- ut the are ones" !ut

    he does not sa' that this $as the usua- custom G on

    the contrar'( he s)eas of it as an act of more than

    ordinar' fur'"

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     The 1esuit Char-e%oiB( $hom I ne$ %er' $e--(

    io Phi-oso)hica-

    and $ho $as a man of *reat %eracit'( *i%es us c-ear-'

    to understand in his #&istor' of Canada(# in $hich

    countr' he resided thirt' 'ears( that a-- the nations

    of northern America $ere cannia-sG since he re8

    mars( as a thin* %er' eBtraordinar'( that in ===

    the Acadians did not eat men"

     The 1esuit !reeuf re-ates that in [email protected]? the rst

    IroHuois that $as con%erted( ha%in* unfortunate-'

    *ot drun $ith rand'( $as taen ' the &urons(

    then at $ar $ith the IroHuois" The )risoner( a)8

    ti4ed ' Father !reeuf ' the name of 1ose)h( $as

    condemned to death" &e $as )ut to a thousand tor8

    tures( $hich he endured( sin*in* a-- the $hi-e( ac8

    cordin* to the custom of his countr'" The' nished

    ' cuttin* oM a foot( a hand( and -ast-' his headG

    after $hich the &urons )ut a-- the memers into a

    cau-dron( each one )artoo of them( and a )iece $as

    oMered to Father !reeuf"

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    Char-e%oiB s)eas in another )-ace of t$ent'8t$o

    &urons eaten ' the IroHuois" It cannot( then( e

    douted( that in more countries than one( human

    nature has reached this -ast )itch of horror G and this

    eBecra-e custom must e of the hi*hest antiHuit'G

    for $e see in the &o-' Scri)tures that the 1e$s $ere

    threatened $ith eatin* their chi-dren if the' did not

    oe' their -a$s" The 1e$s are to-d not on-' that

    the' sha-- ha%e the itch( and that their $i%es sha--

    *i%e themse-%es u) to others( ut a-so that the' sha--

    eat their sons and dau*hters in an*uish and de%asta8

    tion G that the' sha-- contend $ith one another for

    Dictionar'" = =

    the eatin* of their chi-dren G and that the husand

    $i-- not *i%e to his $ife a morse- of her son( ecause(

    he $i-- sa'( he has hard-' enou*h for himse-f"

    Some %er' o-d critics do indeed assert that the

    !oo of Deuteronom' $as not com)osed unti- after

    the sie*e of Samaria ' !enhadad( durin* $hich( it

    is said in the Second !oo of Kin*s( that mothers

    ate their chi-dren" !ut these critics( in considerin*

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    Deuteronom' as a oo $ritten after the sie*e of

    Samaria( do ut %erif' this terri-e occurrence"

    Others assert that it cou-d not ha))en as it is re-ated

    in the Second !oo of Kin*s" It is there said 0 #And

    as the in* of Israe- $as )assin* ' u)on the $a--

    of Samaria ( there cried a $oman unto him( sa'in*(

    5&e-)( m' -ord( O in*"5 And he said( 5If the Lord

    do not he-) thee( $hence sha-- I he-) thee J out of the

    arn oorJ or out of the $ine8)ressJ5 And the

    in* said unto her( 5What ai-eth thee J5 And she an8

    s$ered( 5This $oman said unto me( *i%e th' son(

    that $e ma' eat him to8da'( and $e sha-- eat m' son

    to8morro$" So $e oi-ed m' son( and did eat him G

    and I said unto her on the neBt da'( 5i%e th' son(

    that $e ma' eat him(5 and she hath hid her son"5 #

     These censors assert that it is not -ie-' that $hi-e

    Kin* !enhadad $as esie*in* Samaria( Kin* 1oram

    )assed Huiet-' ' the $a--( or u)on the $a--( to sett-e

    diMerences et$een Samaritan $omen" It is sti--

    -ess -ie-' that one chi-d shou-d not ha%e satised

    t$o $omen for t$o da's" There must ha%e een

    enou*h to feed them for four da's at -east" !ut -et

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    = Phi-oso)hica-

    these critics reason as the' ma'( $e must e-ie%e

    that fathers and mothers ate their chi-dren durin*

    the sie*e of Samaria( since it is eB)ress-' foreto-d

    in Deuteronom'" The same thin* ha))ened at the

    sie*e of 1erusa-em ' Neuchadne44arG and this(

    too( $as foreto-d ' E4eie-"

     1eremiah eBc-aims( in his #Lamentations# 0 #Sha--

    the $omen eat their fruit( and chi-dren of a s)an

    -on*J# And in another )-ace0 #The hands of the

    )itifu- $omen ha%e sodden their o$n chi-dren"#

    &ere ma' e added the $ords of !aruch 0 #3an

    has eaten the esh of his son and of his dau*hter"#

     This horror is re)eated so often that it cannot ut

    e true" Last-'( $e no$ the stor' re-ated in

     1ose)hus( of the $oman( $ho fed on the esh of her

    son $hen Titus $as esie*in* 1erusa-em" The oo

    attriuted to Enoch( cited ' St" 1ude( sa's that the

    *iants orn from the commerce of the an*ers $ith the

    dau*hters of men $ere the rst cannia-s"

    In the ei*hth homi-' attriuted to St" C-ement( St"

    Peter( $ho is made to s)ea in it( sa's that these same

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    *iants Huenched their thirst $ith human -ood and

    ate the esh of their fe--o$ creatures" &ence re8

    su-ted( adds the author( ma-adies unti- then un8

    no$nG monsters of a-- inds s)run* u) on the

    earth G and then it $as that od reso-%ed to dro$n a--

    human ind" A-- this sho$s us ho$ uni%ersa- $as

    the rei*nin* o)inion of the eBistence of cannia-s"

    What St" Peter is made to sa' in St" C-ement5s

    homi-' has a )a-)a-e anit' $ith the stor' of

    Dictionar'" =

    L'caon( one of the o-dest of ree fa-es( and $hich

    $e nd in the rst oo of O%id5s #3etamor8


     The #Re-ations of the Indies and China(# $ritten

    in the ei*hth centur' ' t$o Aras( and trans-ated

    ' the Ae Renaudot( is not a oo to $hich im)-icit

    credit shou-d e attached G far from it G ut $e must

    not reQect a-- these t$o tra%e--ers sa'( es)ecia--'

    $hen their testimon' is corroorated ' that of other

    authors $ho ha%e merited some e-ief" The' te--

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    us that there are in the Indian Sea is-ands )eo)-ed

    $ith -acs $ho ate menG the' ca-- these is-ands


    3arco Po-o( $ho had not read the $ors of these

    t$o Aras( sa's the same thin* four hundred 'ears

    after them" Archisho) Na%arette( $ho $as after8

    $ards a %o'a*er in the same seas( conrms this ac8

    count 0 #Los Euro)eos Hue co*en( es consta$te Hue

    %i%os se -os %an comiendo"#

     TeBeira asserts that the )eo)-e of 1a%a ate human

    esh( $hich aomina-e custom the' had not -eft oM

    more than t$o hundred 'ears efore his time" &e

    adds that the' did not -earn mi-der manners unti-

    the' emraced 3ahometanism"

     The same thin* has een said of the )eo)-e of

    Pe*u( of the Kars( and of se%era- other African

    nations" 3arco Po-o( $hom $e ha%e Qust no$ cited(

    sa's that in some Tartar hordes( $hen a crimina- had

    een condemned to death the' made a mea- of him 0

    #&anno costoro un estia-e e orrii-e costume( che

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    = Phi-oso)hica-

    Huando a-cuno e *uidicato a morte( -o to-*ono( e cuo8

    cono( e man*ian5 se-o"#

    What is more eBtraordinar' and incredi-e is that

    the t$o Aras attriuted to the Chinese $hat 3arco

    Po-o sa's of some of the Tartars 0 that( #in *enera-(

    the Chinese eat a-- $ho ha%e een i--ed"# This

    aomination is so re)u*nant to Chinese manners(

    that it cannot e e-ie%ed" Father Parennin has re8

    futed it ' sa'in* that it is un$orth' of refutation"

    It must( ho$e%er( e oser%ed that the ei*hth cen8

    tur'( the time $hen these Aras $rote their tra%e-s(

    $as one of those most disastrous to the Chinese" T$o

    hundred thousand Tartars )assed the *reat $a--(

    )-undered Pein( and e%er'$here s)read the most

    horri-e deso-ation" It is %er' -ie-' that there $as

    then a *reat famine( for China $as as )o)u-ous as it

    is no$ G and some )oor creatures amon* the -o$est

    of the )eo)-e mi*ht eat dead odies" What interest

    cou-d these Araians ha%e in in%entin* so dis*ustin*

    a fa-eJ Perha)s the'( -ie most other tra%e--ers(

    too a )articu-ar instance for a nationa- custom"

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    Not to *o so far for eBam)-es( $e ha%e one in our

    o$n countr'( in the %er' )ro%ince in $hich I $rite G

    it is attested ' our conHueror( our master( 1u-ius

    Caesar" &e $as esie*in* A-eBia( in the AuBois"

     The esie*ed ein* reso-%ed to defend themse-%es to

    the -ast eBtremit'( and $antin* )ro%isions( a *reat

    counci- $as assem-ed( in $hich one of the chiefs(

    named Crito*natus( )ro)osed that the chi-dren shou-d

    e eaten one after another to sustain the stren*th of

    Dictionar'" = <

    the comatants" &is )ro)osa- $as carried ' a ma8

     Qorit' of %oices" Nor is this a-- G Crito*natus in his

    haran*ue te--s them that their ancestors had had re8

    course to the same ind of sustenance in the $ar $ith

    the Cimri and Teutones"

    We $i-- conc-ude $ith the testimon' of 3on8

    tai*ne" S)eain* of $hat $as to-d him ' the com8

    )anions of Vi--e*a*non( returned from !ra4i-( and

    of $hat he had seen in France( he certies that the

    !ra4i-ians ate their enemies i--ed in $ar( ut mar

    $hat fo--o$s 0 #Is it more ararous to eat a man

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    $hen dead than to ha%e him roasted ' a s-o$ re(

    or torn to )ieces ' do*s and s$ine( as is 'et fresh

    in our memories and that not et$een ancient ene8

    mies( ut amon* nei*hors and fe--o$8citi4ens and(

    $hich is $orse( on )retence of )iet' and re-i*ionJ#

    What a Huestion for a )hi-oso)her -ie 3ontai*ne

     Then( if Anacreon and Tiu--us had een IroHuois(

    the' $ou-d ha%e eaten men A-as a-as


    We--G t$o En*-ishmen ha%e sai-ed round the

    $or-d" The' ha%e disco%ered that Ne$ &o--and is

    an is-and -ar*er than Euro)e( and that men sti-- eat

    one another there( as in Ne$ 9ea-and" Whence come

    this race J su))osin* that the' eBist" Are the' de8

    scended from the ancient E*')tians( from the ancient

    )eo)-e of Ethio)ia( from the Africans( from the In8

    dians or from the %u-tures( or the $o-%es J What

    a contrast et$een 3arcus Aure-ius( or E)ictetus(

    and the cannia-s of Ne$ 9ea-and 6et the' ha%e

    = @ Phi-oso)hica-

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    the same or*ans( the' are a-ie human ein*s" We

    ha%e a-read' treated on this )ro)ert' of the human

    race G it ma' not e amiss to add another )ara*ra)h"

     The fo--o$in* are St" 1erome5s o$n $ords in one

    of his -etters 0 #:uid -oHuar de cateris nationius(

    Huum i)se ado-escentu-us in a--ia %iderim Scotos(

    *entem !ritannicam( humanis %esci carnius( et Huum

    )er si-%as )orcorum *re*es )ecudumHue re)eriant(

    tamen )astorum nates et faminarum )a)i--as so-ere

    ascindere et has so-as ciorum de-icias aritrariJ#

    #What sha-- I sa' of other nations G $hen I m'8

    se-f( $hen 'oun*( ha%e seen Scotchmen in au-( $ho(

    thou*h the' mi*ht ha%e fed on s$ine and other ani8

    ma-s of the forest( chose rather to cut oM the )os8

    teriors of the 'ouths and the reasts of the 'oun*

    $omen( and considered them as the most de-icious


    Pe--outier( $ho sou*ht for e%er'thin* that mi*ht

    do honor to the Ce-ts( too the )ains to contradict

     1erome( and to maintain that his credu-it' had een

    im)osed on" !ut 1erome s)eas %er' *ra%e-'( and of

    $hat he sa$" We ma'( $ith deference( dis)ute $ith

    a father of the church aout $hat he has heard G ut

    to dout of $hat he has seen is *oin* %er' far" After

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    a--( the safest $a' is to dout of e%er'thin*( e%en of

    $hat $e ha%e seen ourse-%es"

    One $ord more on cannia-ism" In a oo $hich

    has had considera-e success amon* the $e--8dis8

    )osed $e nd the fo--o$in*( or $ords to the same

    eMect0 #In Crom$e--5s time a $oman $ho e)t a

    Dictionar'" =

    ta--o$ chand-er5s sho) in Du-in so-d eBce--ent can8

    d-es( made of the fat of En*-ishmen" After some

    time one of her customers com)-ained that the can8

    d-es $ere not so *ood" 5Sir said the $oman( 5it is

    ecause $e are short of En*-ishmen"5 #

    I as $hich $ere the most *ui-t' those $ho as8

    sassinated the En*-ish( or the )oor $oman $ho made

    cand-es of their fatJ And further( I as $hich $as

    the *reatest crime to ha%e En*-ishmen cooed for

    dinner( or to use their ta--o$ to *i%e -i*ht at su))er J

    It a))ears to me that the *reat e%i- is the ein* i--ed G

    it matters -itt-e to us $hether( after death( $e are

    roasted on the s)it or are made into cand-es" Indeed(

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    no $e--8dis)osed man can e un$i--in* to e usefu-

    $hen he is dead"


     T&ERE is not an ancient fa-e( not an o-d asurdit'

    $hich some sim)-eton $i-- not re%i%e( and that in a

    ma*isteria- tone( if it e ut authori4ed ' some

    c-assica- or theo-o*ica- $riter"

    L'co)hron if I rememer ri*ht-'U re-ates that a

    horde of roers $ho had een Qust-' condemned in

    Ethio)ia ' Kin* Actisanes to -ose their ears and

    noses( ed to the cataracts of the Ni-e and from

    thence )enetrated into the Sand' Desert( $here the'

    at -en*th ui-t the tem)-e of 1u)iter Ammon"

    L'co)hron( and after him Theo)om)us( te--s us

    that these anditti( reduced to eBtreme $ant( ha%in*

    neither shoes( nor c-othes( nor utensi-s( nor read(


    = 7 Phi-oso)hica-

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    ethou*ht themse-%es of raisin* a statue of *o-d to

    an E*')tian *od" This statue $as ordered one e%en8

    in* and made in the course of the ni*ht" A memer

    of the uni%ersit' much attached to L'co)hron and

    the Ethio)ian roers asserts that nothin* $as more

    common in the %enera-e a*es of antiHuit' than to

    cast a statue of *o-d in one ni*ht( and after$ards

    thro$ it into a re to reduce it to an im)a-)a-e )o$8

    der( in order to e s$a--o$ed ' a $ho-e )eo)-e"

    !ut $here did these )oor de%i-s( $ithout reeches(

    nd so much *o-dJ #What( sir# sa's the man of

    -earnin*( #do 'ou for*et that the' had sto-en enou*h

    to u' a-- Africa and that their dau*hters5 ear8rin*s

    a-one $ere $orth nine mi--ions %e hundred thousand

    -i%res of our currenc'J#

    !e it so" !ut for castin* a statue a -itt-e )re)ara8

    tion is necessar'" 3" Le 3oine em)-o'ed near-' t$o

    'ears in castin* that of Louis ;V" #Oh ut this

     1u)iter Ammon $as at most ut three feet hi*h"

    o to an' )e$tererG $i-- he not mae 'ou ha-f a

    do4en )-ates in a da' J#

    Sir( a statue of 1u)iter is harder to mae than

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    )e$ter )-ates( and I e%en dout $hether 'our thie%es

    had $here$ith to mae )-ates so Huic-'( c-e%er as

    the' mi*ht e at )i-ferin*" It is not %er' -ie-' that

    the' had the necessar' a))aratus G the' had more

    need to )ro%ide themse-%es $ith mea-" I res)ect L'8

    co)hron much( ut this )rofound ree and his 'et

    more )rofound commentators no$ so -itt-e of the

    arts the' are so -earned in a-- that is use-ess( and so

    Dictionar'" =>

    i*norant in a-- that concerns the necessaries and con8

    %eniences of -ife( )rofessions( trades( and dai-' occu8

    )ations that $e $i-- tae this o))ortunit' of inform8

    in* them ho$ a meta- *ure is cast" This is an

    o)eration $hich the' $i-- nd neither in L'co)hron(

    nor in 3anetho( nor e%en in St" Thomas5s dream"

    I omit man' other )re)arations $hich the enc'c-o8

    )aedists( es)ecia--' 3" Diderot( ha%e eB)-ained much

    etter than I cou-d do( in the $or $hich must im8

    morta-i4e their *-or' as $e-- as a-- the arts" !ut to

    form a c-ear idea of the )rocess of this art the artist

    must e seen at $or" No one can e%er -earn in a

    oo to $ea%e stocin*s( nor to )o-ish diamonds( nor

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    to $or ta)estr'" Arts and trades are -earned on-'

    ' eBam)-e and )ractice"




     T&E in*enious La 3otte sa's of Cato( in one of

    his )hi-oso)hica- rather than )oetica- odes 0

    Caton( dine dme )-us e#*a-e t

    Sous rheureuB %ainHueur de Pharsa-e(

    Eut souMert Hue Rome )-idt G

    3ais( inca)a-e de se rendre(

    II rieut )as -a force d 5attendre

    2n )ardon Hui rhumi-iat"

    Stern Cato( $ith more eHua- sou-(

    &ad o$ed to Caesar5s $ide contro-

    With Rome had to the conHueror o$ed8

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    !ut that his s)irit( rou*h and )roud(

    &ad not the coura*e to a$ait

    A )ardoned foe5s too hum-in* fate"

    It $as( I e-ie%e( ecause Cato5s sou- $as a-$a's

    O Phi-oso)hica-

    eHua-( and retained to the -ast its -o%e for his countr'

    and her -a$s that he chose rather to )erish $ith her

    than to crouch to the t'rant" &e died as he had -i%ed"

    Inca)a-e of surrenderin* And to $hom J To the

    enem' of Rome to the man $ho had forci-' roed

    the )u-ic treasur' in order to mae $ar u)on his

    fe--o$8citi4ens and ens-a%e them ' means of their

    o$n mone'" A )ardoned foe It seems as if La

    3otte8&oudart $ere s)eain* of some re%o-ted su8

     Qect $ho mi*ht ha%e otained his maQest'5s )ardon

    ' -etters in chancer'"

    It seems rather asurd to sa' that Cato s-e$ him8

    se-f throu*h $eaness" None ut a stron* mind can

    thus surmount the most )o$erfu- instinct of nature"

     This stren*th is sometimes that of fren4'( ut a

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    frantic man is not $ea"

    Suicide is foridden amon*st us ' the canon -a$"

    !ut the decreta-s( $hich form the Quris)rudence of a

    )art of Euro)e( $ere unno$n to Cato( to !rutus(

    to Cassius( to the su-ime Arria( to the Em)eror

    Otho( to 3ar Anton'( and the rest of the heroes

    of true Rome( $ho )referred a %o-untar' death to a

    -ife $hich the' e-ie%ed to e i*nominious"

    We( too( i-- ourse-%es( ut it is $hen $e ha%e -ost

    our mone'( or in the %er' rare eBcess of foo-ish )as8

    sion for an un$orth' oQect" I ha%e no$n $omen

    i-- themse-%es for the most stu)id men ima*ina-e"

    And sometimes $e i-- ourse-%es $hen $e are in ad

    hea-th( $hich action is a rea- $eaness"

    Dis*ust $ith our o$n eBistence( $eariness of our8

    Dictionar'" =

    se-%es is a ma-ad' $hich is -ie$ise a cause of sui8

    cide" The remed' is a -itt-e eBercise( music( huntin*(

    the )-a'( or an a*reea-e $oman" The man $ho(

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    in a t of me-ancho-'( i--s himse-f to8da'( $ou-d

    ha%e $ished to -i%e had he $aited a $ee"

    I $as a-most an e'e8$itness of a suicide $hich

    deser%es the attention of a-- cu-ti%ators of )h'sica-

    science" A man of a serious )rofession( of mature

    a*e( of re*u-ar conduct( $ithout )assions( and ao%e

    indi*ence( i--ed himse-f on Oct" =( [email protected]>( and -eft

    to the to$n counci- of the )-ace $here he $as orn( a

    $ritten a)o-o*' for his %o-untar' death( $hich it

    $as thou*ht )ro)er not to )u-ish -est it shou-d en8

    coura*e men to Huit a -ife of $hich so much i-- is

    said" Thus far there is nothin* eBtraordinar' G such

    instances are a-most e%er' da' to e met $ith" The

    astonishin* )art of the stor' is this 0

    &is rother and his father had each i--ed himse-f

    at the same a*e" What secret dis)osition of or*ans(

    $hat s'm)ath'( $hat concurrence of )h'sica- -a$s(

    occasions a father and his t$o sons to )erish ' their

    o$n hands( and ' the same ind of death( )recise-'

    $hen the' ha%e attained such a 'earJ Is it a disease

    $hich unfo-ds itse-f successi%e-' in the diMerent

    memers of a fami-' as $e often see fathers and

    chi-dren die of sma--)oB( consum)tion( or an' other

    com)-aint J Three or four *enerations ha%e ecome

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    deaf or -ind( *out' or scorutic( at a )redetermined


    Ph'sica- or*ani4ation( of $hich mora- is the oM8


    s)rin*( transmits the same character from father to

    son throu*h a succession of a*es" The A))ii $ere

    a-$a's hau*ht' and ineBi-e( the Catos a-$a's se8

    %ere" The $ho-e -ine of the uises $ere o-d( rash(

    factious G com)ounded of the most inso-ent )ride(

    and the most seducti%e )o-iteness" From Francis

    de uise to him $ho a-one and in si-ence $ent and

    )ut himse-f at the head of the )eo)-e of Na)-es( the'

    $ere a--( in *ure( in coura*e( and in turn of mind(

    ao%e ordinar' men" I ha%e seen $ho-e -en*th )or8

    traits of Francis de uise( of the !a-afre( and of his

    son 0 the' are a-- siB feet hi*h( $ith the same fea8

    tures( the same coura*e and o-dness in the forehead(

    the e'e( and the attitude"

     This continuit'( this series of ein*s a-ie is sti--

    more oser%a-e in anima-s( and if as much care $ere

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    taen to )er)etuate ne races of men as some nations

    sti-- tae to )re%ent the miBin* of the reeds of their

    horses and hounds the *enea-o*' $ou-d e $ritten

    in the countenance and dis)-a'ed in the manners"

     There ha%e een races of crooed and of siB8n*ered

    )eo)-e( as $e see red8haired( thic8-i))ed( -on*8

    nosed( and at8nosed races"

    !ut that nature shou-d so dis)ose the or*ans of a

    $ho-e race that at a certain a*e each indi%idua- of

    that fami-' $i-- ha%e a )assion for se-f8destruction

    this is a )ro-em $hich a-- the sa*acit' of the most

    attenti%e anatomists cannot reso-%e" The eMect is

    certain-' a-- )h'sica-( ut it e-on*s to occu-t )h'sics"

    Indeed( $hat )rinci)-e is not occu-t J


    We are not informed( nor is it -ie-' that in the

    time of Caesar and the em)erors the inhaitants of

    reat !ritain i--ed themse-%es as de-ierate-' as

    the' no$ do( $hen the' ha%e the %a)ors $hich the'

    denominate the s)-een"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    On the other hand( the Romans( $ho ne%er had

    the s)-een( did not hesitate to )ut themse-%es to

    death" The' reasoned( the' $ere )hi-oso)hers( and

    the )eo)-e of the is-and of !ritain $ere not so" No$(

    En*-ish citi4ens are )hi-oso)hers and Roman citi8

    4ens are nothin*" The En*-ishman Huits this -ife

    )roud-' and disdainfu--' $hen the $him taes him(

    ut the Roman must ha%e an indu-*entia in articu-o

    mortisG he can neither -i%e nor die"

    Sir Wi--iam Tem)-e sa's that a man shou-d de8

    )art $hen he has no -on*er an' )-easure in remain8

    in*" So died Atticus" 6oun* $omen $ho han* and

    dro$n themse-%es for -o%e shou-d then -isten to the

    %oice of ho)e( for chan*es are as freHuent in -o%e as

    in other aMairs"

    An a-most infa--i-e means of sa%in* 'ourse-f

    from the desire of se-f8destruction is a-$a's to ha%e

    somethin* to do" Creech( the commentator on Lu8

    cretius( mared u)on his manuscri)ts 0 #N" !" 3usiG

    han* m'se-f $hen I ha%e nished"# &e e)t his

    $ord $ith himse-f that he mi*ht ha%e the )-easure of

    endin* -ie his author" If he had undertaen a com8

    mentar' u)on O%id he $ou-d ha%e -i%ed -on*er"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    Wh' ha%e $e fe$er suicides in the countr' than

    in the to$nsJ !ecause in the e-ds on-' the od'


    suMers G in the to$n it is the mind" The -aorer has

    not time to e me-ancho-' G none i-- themse-%es ut

    the id-e the' $ho( in the e'es of the mu-titude( are

    so ha))'"

    I sha-- here re-ate some suicides that ha%e ha)8

    )ened in m' o$n time( se%era- of $hich ha%e a-8

    read' een )u-ished in other $ors" The dead ma'

    e made usefu- to the -i%in* 0

    A !rief Account of Some Sin*u-ar Suicides"

    Phi-i) 3ordaunt( cousin8*erman to the ce-erated

    ear- of Peterorou*h so $e-- no$n in a-- the Eu8

    ro)ean courts( and $ho oasted of ha%in* seen more

    )osti--ions and in*s than an' other man $as a

    'oun* man of t$ent'8se%en( handsome( $e-- made(

    rich( of no-e -ood( $ith the hi*hest )retensions(

    and( $hich $as more than a--( adored ' his mis8

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    tress( 'et 3ordaunt $as sei4ed $ith a dis*ust for

    -ife" &e )aid his dets( $rote to his friends( and

    e%en made some %erses on the occasion" &e dis8

    )atched himse-f $ith a )isto- $ithout ha%in* *i%en

    an' other reason than that his sou- $as tired of his

    od' and that $hen $e are dissatised $ith our

    aode $e ou*ht to Huit it" It seemed that he $ished

    to die ecause he $as dis*usted $ith his *ood for8


    In [email protected] Richard Smith eBhiited a stran*e s)ec8

    tac-e to the $or-d from a %er' diMerent cause" Rich8

    ard Smith $as dis*usted $ith rea- misfortune" &e

    had een rich( and he $as )oorG he had een in

    Dictionar'" <

    hea-th( and he $as inrm G he had a $ife $ith $hom

    he had nau*ht ut his miser' to share G their on-' re8

    mainin* )ro)ert' $as a chi-d in the crad-e" Richard

    Smith and !rid*et Smith( $ith common consent(

    ha%in* emraced each other tender-' and *i%en their

    infant the -ast iss e*an $ith i--in* the )oor chi-d(

    after $hich the' han*ed themse-%es to the )osts of

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    their ed"

    I do not no$ an' other act of co-d8-ooded hor8

    ror so striin* as this" !ut the -etter $hich these

    unfortunate )ersons $rote to their cousin( 3r"

    !rind-e'( efore their death( is as sin*u-ar as their

    death itse-f" #We e-ie%e(# sa' the'( #that od $i--

    for*i%e us We Huit this -ife ecause $e are

    misera-e $ithout resource( and $e ha%e done our

    on-' son the ser%ice of i--in* him( -est he shou-d

    ecome as unfortunate as ourse-%es # It must

    e oser%ed that these )eo)-e( after i--in* their son

    throu*h )arenta- tenderness( $rote to recommend

    their do* and cat to the care of a friend" It seems

    the' thou*ht it easier to mae a cat and do* ha))'

    in this -ife than a chi-d( and the' $ou-d not e a ur8

    den to their friends"

    Lord Scarorou*h Huitted this -ife in =( $ith

    the same coo-ness as he had Huitted his oce of 3as8

    ter of the &orse" &e $as re)roached( in the &ouse

    of Peers( $ith tain* the in*5s )art ecause he had

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    a *ood )-ace at court" #3' -ords(# said he( #to )ro%e

    to 'ou that m' o)inion is inde)endent of m' )-ace( I

    resi*n it this moment"# &e after$ards found him8

    @ Phi-oso)hica-

    se-f in a )er)-eBin* di-emma et$een a mistress

    $hom he -o%ed( ut to $hom he had )romised noth8

    in*( and a $oman $hom he esteemed( and to $hom

    he had )romised marria*e" &e i--ed himse-f to es8

    ca)e from his emarrassment"

     These tra*ica- stories $hich s$arm in the En*-ish

    ne$s)a)ers( ha%e made the rest of Euro)e thin that(

    in En*-and( men i-- themse-%es more $i--in*-' than

    e-se$here" &o$e%er( I no$ not ut there are as

    man' madmen or heroes to e found in Paris as in

    London" Perha)s( if our ne$s)a)ers e)t an eBact

    -ist of a-- $ho had een so infatuated as to see their

    o$n destruction( and so -amenta-' coura*eous as

    to eMect it( $e shou-d( in this )articu-ar( ha%e the

    misfortune to ri%a- the En*-ish" !ut our Qourna-s

    are more discreet" In such of them as are acno$-8

    ed*ed ' the *o%ernment )ri%ate occurrences are

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    ne%er eB)osed to )u-ic s-ander"

    A-- I can %enture to sa' $ith assurance is that

    there is no reason to a))rehend that this ra*e for

    se-f8murder $i-- e%er ecome an e)idemica- disorder"

    A*ainst this( nature has too $e-- )ro%ided" &o)e and

    fear are the )o$erfu- a*ents $hich she often em)-o's

    to sta' the hand of the unha))' indi%idua- aout

    to strie at his o$n reast" Cardina- Duois $as

    once heard to sa' to himse-f 0 #Ki-- th'se-f Co$8

    ard( thou darest not#

    It is said that there ha%e een countries in $hich

    a counci- $as esta-ished to *rant the citi4ens )er8

    mission to i-- themse-%es $hen the' had *ood and


    sucient reasons" I ans$er either that it $as not so

    or that those ma*istrates had not much to do"

    It mi*ht( indeed( astonish us( and does( I thin(

    merit a serious eBamination( that a-most a-- the an8

    cient Roman heroes i--ed themse-%es $hen the' had

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    -ost a att-e in the ci%i- $ars" !ut I do not nd(

    neither in the time of the Lea*ue( nor in that of the

    Fronde( nor in the trou-es of Ita-'( nor in those of

    En*-and( that an' chief thou*ht )ro)er to die ' his

    o$n hand" These chiefs( it is true( $ere Christians(

    and there is a *reat diMerence et$een the )rinci)-es

    of a Christian $arrior and those of a Pa*an hero"

    !ut $h' $ere these men $hom Christianit' re8

    strained $hen the' $ou-d ha%e )ut themse-%es to

    death( restrained ' nothin* $hen the' chose to

    )oison( assassinate( and rin* their conHuered ene8

    mies to the scaMo-d J Does not the Christian re-i*ion

    forid these murders much more than se-f8murder(

    of $hich the Ne$ Testament maes no mention J

     The a)ost-es of suicide te-- us that it is Huite a-8

    -o$a-e to Huit one5s house $hen one is tired of it"

    A*reed( ut most men $ou-d )refer s-ee)in* in a

    mean house to -'in* in the o)en air"

    I once recei%ed a circu-ar -etter from an En*-ish8

    man( in $hich he oMered a )ri4e to an' one $ho

    shou-d most satisfactori-' )ro%e that there are occa8

    sions on $hich a man mi*ht i-- himse-f" I made no

    ans$er0 I had nothin* to )ro%e to him" &e had

    on-' to eBamine $hether he -ied etter to die than to

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII



    7 Phi-oso)hica-

    Another En*-ishman came to me at Paris in = G

    he $as i--( and )romised me that he $ou-d i-- him8

    se-f if he $as not cured ' 1u-' ?" &e accordin*-'

    *a%e me his e)ita)h in these $ords 0 #Va-ete cum#

    #Fare$e-- care# and *a%e me t$ent'8%e -ouis to

    *et a sma-- monument erected to him at the end of

    the Fauour* St" 3artin" I returned him his mone'

    on 1u-' ?( and e)t his e)ita)h"

    In m' o$n time the -ast )rince of the house of

    Courtenai( $hen %er' o-d( and the -ast ranch of

    Lorraine8&arcourt( $hen %er' 'oun*( destro'ed

    themse-%es a-most $ithout its ein* heard of" These

    occurrences cause a terri-e u)roar the rst da'( ut

    $hen the )ro)ert' of the deceased has een di%ided

    the' are no -on*er ta-ed of"

     The fo--o$in* most remara-e of a-- suicides has

     Qust occurred at L'ons( in 1une( =?0 A 'oun*

    man $e-- no$n( $ho $as handsome( $e-- made(

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    c-e%er( and amia-e( fe-- in -o%e $ith a 'oun* $oman

    $hom her )arents $ou-d not *i%e to him" So far

    $e ha%e nothin* more than the o)enin* scene of a

    comed'( the astonishin* tra*ed' is to fo--o$"

     The -o%er roe a -ood8%esse- and the sur*eons

    informed him there $as no remed'" &is mistress

    en*a*ed to meet him( $ith t$o )isto-s and t$o da*8

    *ers in order that( if the )isto-s missed the da**ers

    mi*ht the neBt moment )ierce their hearts" The'

    emraced each other for the -ast time 0 rose8co-ored

    rions $ere tied to the tri**ers of the )isto-s G the

    -o%er ho-din* the rion of his mistress5s )isto-( $hi-e

    Dictionar'" >

    she he-d the rion of his" !oth red at a si*na-

    *i%en( and oth fe-- at the same instant"

    Of this fact the $ho-e cit' of L'ons is $itness"

    Psetus and Arria( 'ou set the eBam)-e( ut 'ou $ere

    condemned ' a t'rant( $hi-e -o%e a-one immo-ated

    these t$o %ictims"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    La$s A*ainst Suicide"

    &as an' -a$( ci%i- or re-i*ious( e%er foridden a

    man to i-- himse-f( on )ain of ein* han*ed after

    death( or on )ain of ein* damned J It is true that

    Vir*i- has said0

    ProBimo( deinde tenent mcesti -oca( Hui sii -ethum

    Insontes )e)erere manu( -ucemHue )erosi

    ProQecere animas" :uam %e--ent ethere in a-to

    Nunc et )au)eriem et duros )erferre -aores

    Fata ostant( tristiHue )a-us inamai-is unda

    A--i*at( et na%ies St'B interfusa coercet"

    ( -i" %i" %" et seH"

     The neBt in )-ace( and )unishment( are the'

    Who )rodi*a--' thro$ their sou-s a$a'

    Foo-s( $ho re)inin* at their $retched state(

    And -oathin* anBious -ife( suorn their fateG

    With -ate re)entance no$ the' $ou-d retrie%e

     The odies the' forsoo( and $ish to -i%eG

     Their )ains and )o%ert' desire to ear(

     To %ie$ the -i*ht of hea%en and reathe the %ita- airG

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    !ut fate forids( the St'*ian oods o))ose(

    And( $ith nine circ-in* streams( the ca)ti%e sou-s inc-ose"


    Such $as the re-i*ion of some of the )a*ans(

    'et( not$ithstandin* the $eariness $hich a$aited

    them in the neBt $or-d it $as an honor to Huit this

    ' i--in* themse-%es so contradictor' are the $a's

    of men" And amon* us is not due--in* unfortu8

    nate-' sti-- honora-e( thou*h foridden ' reason(

    ' re-i*ion( and ' e%er' -a$J If Cato and Caesar(

    ? Phi-oso)hica-

    Anton' and Au*ustus( $ere not due--ists it $as not

    that the' $ere -ess ra%e than our Frenchmen" If

    the due of 3ontmorenc'( 3arsha- de 3ari--ac(

    de Thou( CinH83ars( and so man' others( chose

    rather to e dra**ed to eBecution in a $a*on( -ie

    hi*h$a'men( than to i-- themse-%es -ie Cato and

    !rutus( it $as not that the' had -ess coura*e than

    those Romans( nor -ess of $hat is ca--ed honor" The

    true reason is that at Paris se-f8murder in such cases

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    $as not then the fashion G ut it $as the fashion at


     The $omen of the 3a-aar coast thro$ them8

    se-%es( -i%in*( on the funera- )i-es of their husands"

    &a%e the'( then( more coura*e than Corne-iaJ NoG

    ut in that countr' it is the custom for the $i%es to

    urn themse-%es"

    In 1a)an it is the custom for a man of honor(

    $hen he has een insu-ted ' another man of honor(

    to ri) o)en his e--' in the )resence of his enem'

    and sa' to him 0 #Do 'ou -ie$ise if thou hast the

    heart"# The a**ressor is dishonored for e%er if he

    does not immediate-' )-un*e a *reat nife into his


     The on-' re-i*ion in $hich suicide is foridden '

    a c-ear and )ositi%e -a$ is 3ahometanism" In the

    fourth sura it is said 0 #Do not i-- 'ourse-f( for

    od is mercifu- unto 'ou( and $hosoe%er i--eth

    himse-f throu*h ma-ice and $icedness sha-- as8

    sured-' e urned in he-- re"#

     This is a -itera- trans-ation" The teBt( -ie man'

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    Dictionar'" =

    other teBts( a))ears to $ant common sense" What

    is meant ' #Do not i-- 'ourse-f for od is merci8

    fu-#J Perha)s $e are to understand Do not sin

    under 'our misfortunes( $hich od ma' a--e%iate 0

    do not e so foo-ish as to i-- 'ourse-f to8da' since

    'ou ma' e ha))' to8morro$"

    #And $hosoe%er i--eth himse-f throu*h ma-ice

    and $icedness"# This is 'et more dicu-t to eB8

    )-ain" Perha)s( in a-- antiHuit'( this ne%er ha))ened

    to an' one ut the Phrasdra of Euri)ides( $ho

    han*ed herse-f on )ur)ose to mae Theseus e-ie%e

    that she had een forci-' %io-ated ' &i))o-'tus"

    In our o$n times a man shot himse-f in the head(

    after arran*in* a-- thin*s to mae another man sus8

    )ected of the act"

    In the )-a' of eor*e Dandin( his Qade of a $ife

    threatens him $ith i--in* herse-f to ha%e him

    han*ed" Such cases are rare" If 3ahomet foresa$

    them he ma' e said to ha%e seen a *reat $a'" The

    famous Du%er*er de &aurane( aot of St" C'ran(

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    re*arded as the founder of Port Ro'a-( $rote( aout

    the 'ear [email protected]?7( a treatise on #Suicide(# $hich has

    ecome one of the scarcest oos in Euro)e"

    #The Deca-o*ue(# sa's he( #forids us to i--" In

    this )rece)t se-f8murder seems no -ess to e com5

    )rised than murder of our nei*hor" !ut if there

    are cases in $hich it is a--o$a-e to i-- our nei*hor

    there -ie$ise are cases in $hich it is a--o$a-e to

    i-- ourse-%es"

    #We must not mae an attem)t u)on our -i%es

     Q Phi-oso)hica-

    unti- $e ha%e consu-ted reason" The )u-ic author8

    it'( $hich ho-ds the )-ace of od( ma' dis)ose of

    our -i%es" The reason of man ma' -ie$ise ho-d the

    )-ace of the reason of od0 it is a ra' of the eterna-


    St" C'ran eBtends this ar*ument( $hich ma' e

    considered as a mere so)hism( to *reat -en*th( ut

    $hen he comes to the eB)-anation and the detai-s

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    it is more dicu-t to ans$er him" &e sa's0 #A

    man ma' i-- himse-f for the *ood of his )rince(

    for that of his countr'( or for that of his re-ations"#

    We do not( indeed( see ho$ Codrns or Curtius

    cou-d e condemned" No so%erei*n $ou-d dare to

    )unish the fami-' of a man $ho had de%oted him8

    se-f to death for himG na'( there is not one $ho

    $ou-d dare ne*-ect to recom)ense ft" St" Thomas(

    efore St" C'ran( had said the same thin*" !ut $e

    need neither St" Thomas( nor Cardina- !ona%entura(

    nor Dn%er*er de &anrane to te-- us that a man $ho

    dies for his countr' is deser%in* of )raise"

     The aot of St" C'ran conc-udes that it is a-8

    -o$a-e to do for ourse-%es $hat it is no-e to do for

    others" A-- mat is ad%anced ' P-utarch( ' Seneca(

    ' 3ontai*ne( and ' ft' other )hi-oso)hers( in

    fa%or of suicide is sucient-' no$n ft is a hac8

    ne'ed to)ic a $ornout common)-ace" I see not to

    a)o-o*i4e for an act $hich the -a$s condemn( ut

    neither the O-d Testament( nor the Ne$ has e%er

    foridden man to de)art this -ife $hen it has ecome

    insu))orta-e to him" No Roman -a$ condemned

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII



    se-f8murderG on the contrar'( the fo--o$in* $as the

    -a$ of the Em)eror Antoine( $hich $as ne%er re8


    #If 'our father or 'our rother not ein* accused

    of an' crime i-- himse-f( either to esca)e from

    *rief( or throu*h $eariness of -ife( or throu*h de8

    s)air( or throu*h menta- deran*ement( his $i-- sha--

    e %a-id( or( if he die intestate his heirs sha-- suc8


    Not$ithstandin* this humane -a$ of our masters

    $e sti-- dra* on a s-ed*e and dri%e a stae throu*h

    the od' of a man $ho has died a %o-untar' death G

    $e do a-- $e can to mae his memor' infamousG

    $e dishonor his fami-' as far as $e are a-eG $e

    )unish the son for ha%in* -ost his father( and the

    $ido$ for ein* de)ri%ed of her husand"

    We e%en conscate the )ro)ert' of the deceased(

    $hich is roin* the -i%in* of the )atrimon' $hich

    of ri*ht e-on*s to them" This custom is deri%ed

    from our canon -a$( $hich de)ri%es of Christian

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    uria- such as die a %o-untar' death" &ence it is

    conc-uded that $e cannot inherit from a man $ho

    is Qud*ed to ha%e no inheritance in hea%en" The

    canon -a$( under the head #De Parnitentia# assures

    us that 1udas committed a *reater crime in stran*8

    -in* himse-f than in se--in* our Lord 1esus Christ"


    A3ON those $ho ha%e had the -eisure( the

    means( and the coura*e to see for the ori*in of



    nations( there ha%e een some $ho ha%e found that

    of our Ce-ts( or at -east $ou-d mae us e-ie%e that

    the' had met $ith it" This i--usion ein* the on-'

    recom)ense of their immense tra%ai-( $e shou-d not

    en%' them its )ossession"

    If $e $ish to no$ an'thin* aout the &uns

    $ho( indeed( are scarce-' $orth no$in* an'thin*

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    aout( for the' ha%e rendered no ser%ice to man8

    ind $e nd some s-i*ht notices of those arar8

    ians amon* the Chinese that most ancient of a-- na8

    tions( after the Indians" From them $e -earn that(

    in certain a*es( the &uns $ent -ie famishin*

    $o-%es and ra%a*ed countries $hich( e%en at this

    da' are re*arded as )-aces of eBi-e and of horror"

     This is a %er' me-ancho-'( a %er' misera-e sort of

    no$-ed*e" It is( dout-ess( much etter to cu-ti8

    %ate a usefu- art at Paris( L'ons( or !ordeauB( than

    serious-' to stud' the histor' of the &uns and the

    ears" Ne%erthe-ess $e are aided in these researches

    ' some of the Chinese archi%es"

    !ut for the Ce-ts there are no archi%es" We

    no$ no more of their antiHuities than $e do of

    those of the Samo'eds or the Austra-asians"

    We ha%e -earned nothin* aout our ancestors eB8

    ce)t from the fe$ $ords $hich their conHueror(

     1u-ius Caesar( condescended to sa' of them" &e e8

    *ins his #Commentaries# ' di%idin* the au-s

    into the !e-*ians( AHuitanians( and Ce-ts"

    Whence some of the darin* amon* the erudite

    ha%e conc-uded that the Ce-ts $ere the Sc'thians(

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    Dictionar'" <

    and the' ha%e made these Sc'thio8Ce-ts inc-ude a--

    Euro)e" !ut $h' not inc-ude the $ho-e earthJ

    Wh' sto) short in so ne a career J

    We ha%e a-so een du-' to-d that Noah5s son(

     1a)het( came out of the Ar( and $ent $ith a-- s)eed

    to )eo)-e a-- those %ast re*ions $ith Ce-ts( $hom he

    *o%erned mar%e--ous-' $e--" !ut authors of *reater

    modest' refer the ori*in of our Ce-ts to the to$er of

    !ae- to the confusion of ton*ues to Corner( of

    $hom no one e%er heard unti- the %er' recent )eriod

    $hen some $ise men of the West read the name of

    Comer in a ad trans-ation of the Se)tua*int"

    !ochart( in his #Sacred Chrono-o*'# $hat a

    chrono-o*' taes Huite a diMerent turn" Of these

    innumera-e hordes of Ce-ts he maes an E*')tian

    co-on'( si-fu--' and easi-' -ed ' &ercu-es from

    the ferti-e ans of the Ni-e into the forests and

    morasses of erman'( $hither( no dout( these co-8

    onists carried the arts and the -an*ua*e of E*')t

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    and the m'steries of Isis( no trace of $hich has e%er

    een found amon* them"

    I thin the' are sti-- more to e con*ratu-ated

    on their disco%eries( $ho sa' that the Ce-ts of the

    mountains of Dau)hin' $ere ca--ed Cottians( from

    their Kin* Cottius G that the !erichons $ere named

    from their Kin* !etrichG the We-sh( or au-ish(

    from their Kin* Wa--us( and the !e-*ians from !a-8

    *em( $hich means Huarre-some"

    A sti-- ner ori*in is that of the Ce-to8Pannon8

    ians( from the Latin $ord )annus( c-oth( for( $e are

    @ Phi-oso)hica-

    to-d the' dressed themse-%es in o-d )ieces of c-oth

    ad-' se$n to*ether( much resem-in* a har-eHuin5s

     Qacet" !ut the est ori*in of a-- is( undenia-'( the

    to$er of !ae-"


    ALL these thin*s( $hich $ou-d e use-ess and

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    im)ertinent in a state of )ure nature( are( in our

    corru)t and ridicu-ous state( of *reat ser%ice" Of a--

    nations( the Chinese are those $ho ha%e carried the

    use of ceremonies to the *reatest -en*th G the' cer8

    tain-' ser%e to ca-m as $e-- as to $ear' the mind"

     The Chinese )orters and carters are o-i*ed( $hen8

    e%er the' occasion the -east hindrance in the streets(

    to fa-- on their nees and as one another5s )ardon

    accordin* to the )rescried formu-a" This )re%ents

    i-- -an*ua*e( -o$s and murders" The' ha%e time

    to *ro$ coo- and are then $i--in* to assist one an8


     The more free a )eo)-e are( the fe$er ceremonies(

    the fe$er ostentatious tit-es( the fe$er demonstra8

    tions of annihi-ation in the )resence of a su)erior(

    the' )ossess" To Sci)io men said #Sci)io# G to

    Caesar( #Caesar# G ut in after times the' said to the

    em)erors( #'our maQest'(# #'our di%init'"#

     The tit-es of St" Peter and St" Pau- $ere #Peter#

    and #Pau-"# Their successors *a%e one another the

    tit-e of #'our ho-iness(# $hich is not to e found in

    the Acts of the A)ost-es( nor in the $ritin*s of the


  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII



    We read in the histor' of erman' that the

    dau)hin of France( after$ards Char-es V"( $ent to

    the Em)eror Char-es IV" at 3et4 and $as )resented

    after Cardina- de Peri*ord"

     There has since een a time $hen chance--ors $ent

    efore cardina-sG after $hich cardina-s a*ain too

    )recedence of chance--ors"

    In France the )eers )receded the )rinces of the

    -ood( *oin* in the order of their creation( unti- the

    consecration of &enr' III"

     The di*nit' of )eer $as( unti- that time( so eB8

    a-ted that at the ceremon' of the consecration of

    E-i4aeth( $ife to Char-es I;"( in =

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    to *o and carr' the oMerin* to the )rincesses them8

    se-%es( etc" This dame d5honneur $as the $ife of the

    consta-e 3ontmorenc'"

     The armchair( the chair $ith a ac( the stoo-( the

    ri*ht hand and the -eft $ere for se%era- a*es im8

    )ortant )o-itica- matters" I e-ie%e that $e o$e the

    ancient etiHuette concernin* armchairs to the circum8

    stance that our ararians of ancestors had at most

    ut one in a house( and e%en this $as used on-' '

    the sic" In some )ro%inces of erman' and En*8

    -and an armchair is sti-- ca--ed a sic8chair"

    7 Phi-oso)hica-

    Lon* after the times of Atti-a and Da*oert( $hen

    -uBur' found its $a' into our courts and the *reat

    men of the earth had t$o or three armchairs in their

    donQons( it $as a no-e distinction to sit u)on one

    of these thrones G and a caste--ain $ou-d )-ace amon*

    his tit-es ho$ he had *one ha-f a -ea*ue from home

    to )a' his court to a count( and ho$ he had een re8

    cei%ed in an eas'8chair"

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    We see in the 3emoirs of 3ademoise--e that that

    au*ust )rincess )assed one8fourth of her -ife amid

    the morta- a*onies of dis)utes for the ac8chair"

    Were 'ou to sit in a certain a)artment( in a chair( or

    on a stoo-( or not to sit at a-- J &ere $as enou*h to

    in%o-%e a $ho-e court in intri*ue" 3anners are no$

    more eas'G -adies ma' use couches and sofas $ith8

    out occasionin* an' disturance in societ'"

    When Cardina- de Riche-ieu $as treatin* $ith the

    En*-ish amassadors for the marria*e of &enriette

    of France $ith Char-es I"( the aMair $as on the )oint

    of ein* roen oM on account of a demand made

    ' the amassadors of t$o or three ste)s more to8

    $ards a doorG ut the cardina- remo%ed the di8

    cu-t' ' tain* to his ed" &istor' has carefu--'

    handed do$n this )recious circumstance" I e-ie%e

    that( if it had een )ro)osed to Sci)io to *et et$een

    the sheets to recei%e the %isit of &annia-( he $ou-d

    ha%e thou*ht the ceremon' somethin* -ie a Qoe"

    For a $ho-e centur' the order of carria*es and

    tain* the $a-- $ere testimonia-s of *reatness and

    the source of )retensions( dis)utes( and conicts" To

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    Dictionar'" >

    )rocure the )assin* of one carria*e efore another

    $as -ooed u)on as a si*na- %ictor'" The amas8

    sadors $ent a-on* the streets as if the' $ere con8

    tendin* for the )ri4e in the circus G and $hen a S)an8

    ish minister had succeeded in main* a Portu*uese

    coachman )u-- u)( he sent a courier to 3adrid to

    a))rise the in*( his master( of this *reat ad%anta*e"

    Our histories re*a-e us $ith ft' )u*i-istic com8

    ats for )recedence as that of the )ar-iament $ith

    the isho)s5 c-ers at the funera- of &enr' IV"( the

    chamre des com)tes $ith the )ar-iament in the ca8

    thedra- $hen Louis ;III" *a%e France to the Vir*in(

    the due of E)ernon $ith the ee)er of the sea-s(

    Du Vair( in the church of St" ermain" The )res8

    idents of the enHuetes uMeted Sa%are( the do'en of

    the consei--ers de *rand5 chamre( to mae him Huit

    his )-ace of honor so much is honor the sou- of mo8

    narchica- *o%ernments U ( and four archers $ere

    o-i*ed to -a' ho-d of the President !ari--on( $ho

    $as eatin* the )oor do'en $ithout merc'" We nd

    no contests -ie these in the Areo)a*us( nor in the

    Roman senate"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    In )ro)ortion to the ararism of countries or

    the $eaness of courts( $e nd ceremon' in %o*ue"

     True )o$er and true )o-iteness are ao%e %anit'" We

    ma' %enture to e-ie%e that the custom $i-- at -ast e

    *i%en u) $hich some amassadors sti-- retain( of

    ruinin* themse-%es in order to *o a-on* the streets

    in )rocession $ith a fe$ hired carria*es( fresh

    )ainted and *i-ded( and )receded ' a fe$ footmen"

    O Phi-oso)hica-

     This is ca--ed #main* their entr'# G and it is a ne

     Qoe to mae 'our entr' into a to$n se%en or ei*ht

    months efore 'ou arri%e"

     This im)ortant aMair of )uncti-io( $hich consti8

    tutes the *reatness of the modern Romans this

    science of the numer of ste)s that shou-d e made

    in sho$in* in a monsi*nor( in dra$in* or ha-f dra$8

    in* a curtain( in $a-in* in a room to the ri*ht or to

    the -eft this *reat art( $hich neither Faius norCato

    cou-d e%er ima*ine( is e*innin* to sinG and the

    train8earers to the cardina-s com)-ain that e%er'8

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    thin* indicates a dec-ine"

    A French co-one-( ein* at !russe-s a 'ear after

    the tain* of that )-ace ' 3arsha- de SaBe( and

    ha%in* nothin* to do( reso-%ed to *o to the to$n as8

    sem-'" #It is he-d at a )rincess5(# said one to him"

    #!e it so(# ans$ered the other( #$hat matters it to

    meJ# #!ut on-' )rinces *o thereG are 'ou a

    )rinceJ# #Psha$ # said the co-one-( #the' are a %er'

    *ood sort of )rinces G I had a do4en of them in m'

    anteroom -ast 'ear( $hen $e had taen the to$n(

    and the' $ere %er' )o-ite"#

    In turnin* o%er the -ea%es of #&orace# I oser%e

    this -ine in an e)ist-e to 3aecenas( #Te( du-cis amice

    re%isa%n"# #I $i-- come and see 'ou( m' *ood

    friend"# This 3aecenas $as the second )erson in the

    Roman Em)ire G that is( a man of *reater )o$er and

    inuence than the *reatest monarch of modern Eu8


    Looin* into the $ors of Cornei--e( I oser%ed

    Dictionar'" =

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    that in a -etter to the *reat Scuderi( *o%ernor of

    Notre Dame de -a arde( etc"( he uses this eB)ression

    in reference to Cardina- Riche-ieu 0 #3onsieur the

    cardina-( 'our master and mine"# It is( )erha)s( the

    rst time that such -an*ua*e has een a))-ied to a

    minister( since there ha%e een ministers( in*s and

    atterers in the $or-d" The same Peter Cornei--e(

    the author of #Cinna(# hum-' dedicates that $or to

    the Sieur de 3ontauron( the in*5s treasurer( $hom

    in direct terms he com)ares to Au*ustus" I re*ret

    that he did not *i%e 3ontauron the tit-e of mon8

    sei*neur or m' -ord"

    An anecdote is re-ated of an o-d ocer( ut -itt-e

    con%ersant $ith the )recedents and formu-as of

    %anit'( $ho $rote to the 3arHuis Lou%ois as )-ain

    monsieur( ut recei%in* no ans$er( neBt addressed

    him under the tit-e of monsei*neur( sti--( ho$e%er(

    $ithout eMect( the un-uc' monsieur continuin* to

    ran-e in the minister5s heart" &e na--' directed his

    -etter #to m' od( m' od Lou%ois# G commencin*

    it ' the $ords( #m' od( m' Creator"# Does not

    a-- this sucient-' )ro%e that the Romans $ere ma*8

    nanimous and modest( and that $e are fri%o-ous and


  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    #&o$ d5'e do( m' dear friendJ# said a due and

    )eer to a *ent-eman" #At 'our ser%ice( m' dear

    friend(# re)-ied he G and from that instant his #dear

    friend# ecame his im)-aca-e enem'" A *randee of

    Portu*a- $as once con%ersin* $ith a S)anish hida-*o

    and addressin* him e%er' moment in the terms(


    #'our eBce--enc'"# The Casti-ian as freHuent-' re8

    )-ied( #'our courtes'# %uestra mercedU( a tit-e e8

    sto$ed on those $ho ha%e none ' ri*ht" The irri8

    tated Portu*uese in return retorted #'our courtes'#

    on the S)aniard( $ho then ca--ed the Portu*uese

    #'our eBce--enc'"# The Portu*uese( at -en*th

    $earied out( demanded( #&o$ is it that 'ou a-$a's

    ca-- me 'our courtes'( $hen I ca-- 'ou 'our eBce-8

    -enc'( and 'our eBce--enc' $hen I ca-- 'ou 'our

    courtes' J# #The reason is(# sa's the Casti-ian $ith

    a o$( #that a-- tit-es are eHua- to me( )ro%ided that

    there is nothin* eHua- et$een 'ou and me"#

     The %anit' of tit-es $as not introduced into our

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    northern c-imes of Euro)e ti-- the Romans had e8

    come acHuainted $ith Asiatic ma*nicence" The

    *reater )art of the so%erei*ns of Asia $ere( and sti--

    are( cousins *erman of the sun and the moon G their

    suQects dare not mae an' )retension to such hi*h

    anit' G and man' a )ro%incia- *o%ernor( $ho st'-es

    himse-f #nutme* of conso-ation# and #rose of de8

    -i*ht# $ou-d e em)a-ed a-i%e if he $ere to c-aim the

    s-i*htest re-ationshi) to the sun and moon"

    Constantine $as( I thin( the rst Roman em)eror

    $ho o%er$he-med Christian humi-it' in a )a*e of

    )om)ous tit-es" It is true that efore his time the

    em)erors ore the tit-e of *od( ut the term im)-ied

    nothin* simi-ar to $hat $e understand ' it" Di%us

    Au*ustus( Di%us TraQanus( meant St" Au*ustus( St"

     TraQan" It $as thou*ht on-' conforma-e to the


    di*nit' of the Roman Em)ire that the sou- of its chief

    shou-d( after his death( ascend to hea%en G and it fre8

    Huent-' e%en ha))ened that the tit-e of saint( of

    *od( $as *ranted to the em)eror ' a sort of antici8

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    )ated inheritance" Near-' for the same reason the

    rst )atriarchs of the Christian church $ere a-- ca--ed

    55'our ho-iness"# The' $ere thus named to remind

    them of $hat in fact the' ou*ht to e"

    3en sometimes tae u)on themse-%es %er' hum-e

    tit-es( )ro%ided the' can otain from others %er' hon8

    ora-e ones" 3an' an ae $ho ca--s himse-f rother

    eBacts from his mons the tit-e of monsei*neur" The

    )o)e st'-es himse-f #ser%ant of the ser%ants of od"#

    An honest )riest of &o-stein once addressed a -etter

    55to Pius IV"( ser%ant of the ser%ants of od"# &e

    after$ards $ent to Rome to ur*e his suit( and the in8

    Huisition )ut him in )rison to teach him ho$ to ad8

    dress -etters"

    Former-' the em)eror a-one had the tit-e of

    maQest'" Other so%erei*ns $ere ca--ed 'our hi*h8

    ness( 'our serenit'( 'our *race" Louis ;I" $as the

    rst in France $ho $as *enera--' ca--ed maQest'( a

    tit-e certain-' not -ess suita-e to the di*nit' of a

    )o$erfu- hereditar' in*dom than to an e-ecti%e )rin8

    ci)a-it'" !ut -on* after him the term hi*hness $as

    a))-ied to in*s of FranceG and some -etters to

    &enr' III" are sti-- eBtant in $hich he is addressed

    ' that tit-e" The states of Or-eans oQected to

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    :ueen Catherine de 3edici ein* ca--ed maQest'"


    !ut this -ast denomination *radua--' )re%ai-ed" The

    name is indiMerentG it is the )o$er a-one that is

    not so"

     The erman chancer'( e%er unchan*ea-e in its

    state-' forma-ities( has )retended do$n to our o$n

    times that no in*s ha%e a ri*ht to a hi*her tit-e than

    serenit'" At the ce-erated treat' of West)ha-ia( in

    $hich France and S$eden dictated the -a$ to the

    ho-' Roman Em)ire( the em)eror5s )-eni)otentiar"s

    continua--' )resented Latin memoria-s( in $hich #his

    most sacred im)eria- maQest'# ne*otiated $ith the

    #most serene in*s of France and S$eden# G $hi-e(

    on the other hand( the French and S$edes fai- not to

    dec-are that their #sacred maQesties of France and

    S$eden# had man' suQects of com)-aint a*ainst the

    #most serene em)eror"# Since that )eriod( ho$e%er(

    the *reat so%erei*ns ha%e( in re*ard to ran( een

    considered as eHua-s( and he a-one $ho eats his

    nei*hor is adQud*ed to ha%e the )re8eminence"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    Phi-i) II" $as the rst maQest' in S)ain( for the

    serenit' of Char-es V" $as con%erted into maQest'

    on-' on account of the em)ire" The chi-dren of

    Phi-i) II" $ere the rst hi*hnesses G and after$ards

    the' $ere ro'a- hi*hnesses" The due of Or-eans(

    rother of Louis ;III"( did not tae u) the tit-e of

    ro'a- hi*hness ti-- [email protected]= G then the )rince of Conde

    c-aimed that the most serene hi*hness( $hich the

    Dues de Vendome did not %enture to assume" The

    due of Sa%o'( at that time ro'a- hi*hness( after8

    $ards sustituted maQest'" The *rand due of

    Dictionar'" <

    F-orence did the same( eBce)tin* as to maQest' G and

    na--' the c4ar( $ho $as no$n in Euro)e on-' as

    the *rand due( dec-ared himse-f em)eror( and $as

    reco*ni4ed as such"

    Former-' there $ere on-' t$o marHuises in er8

    man'( t$o in France and t$o in Ita-'" The marHuis

    of !randenur* has ecome a in*( and a *reat

    in*" !ut at )resent our Ita-ian and French mar8

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    Huises are of a some$hat diMerent s)ecies"

    If an Ita-ian citi4en has the honor of *i%in* a din8

    ner to the -e*ate of his )ro%ince( and the -e*ate( $hen

    drinin*( sa's to him( #3onsieur -e marHuis( to 'our

    *ood hea-th(# he sudden-' ecomes a marHuis( he and

    his heirs after him( fore%er" If the inhaitant of an'

    )ro%ince of France( $hose $ho-e estate consists of

    a Huarter )art of a -itt-e deca'ed cast-e8$ard( *oes to

    Paris( maes somethin* of a fortune( or carries the

    air of ha%in* made one( he is st'-ed in the deeds and

    -e*a- instruments in $hich he is concerned #hi*h and

    mi*ht' sei*neur( marHuis and count(# and his son

    $i-- e denominated ' his notar' #%er' hi*h and

    %er' mi*ht' sei*neur(# and as this fri%o-ous amition

    is in no $a' inQurious to *o%ernment or ci%i- societ'(

    it is )ermitted to tae its course" Some French -ords

    oast of em)-o'in* erman arons in their sta-esG

    some erman -ords sa' the' ha%e French marHuises

    in their itchens G it is not a -on* time since a for8

    ei*ner at Na)-es made his coachman a due" Custom

    in these cases has more )o$er than ro'a- authorit'"

    If 'ou are ut -itt-e no$n at Paris( 'ou ma' there e

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    @ Phi-oso)hica-

    a count or a marHuis as -on* as 'ou )-ease G if 'ou

    are connected $ith the -a$ of nance( thou*h the

    in* shou-d confer on 'ou a rea- marHuisate( 'ou $i--

    not( therefore( e monsieur -e marHuis" The ce-e8

    rated Samue- !ernard $as( in truth( more a count

    than %e hundred such as $e often see not )ossessin*

    four acres of -and" The in* had con%erted his es8

    tate of Couert into a ne count' G 'et if on an' oc8

    casion he had ordered himse-f to e announced as

    Count !ernard( etc"( he $ou-d ha%e eBcited ursts

    of -au*hter" In En*-and it is diMerent G if the in*

    confers the tit-e of ear- or aron on a merchant( a--

    c-asses address him $ith the desi*nation suita-e to

    it $ithout the s-i*htest hesitation" !' )ersons of the

    hi*hest irth( ' the in* himse-f( he is ca--ed m'

    -ord" It is the same in Ita-' G there is a re*ister e)t

    there of monsi*nori" The )o)e himse-f addresses

    them under that tit-eG his )h'sician is monsi*nor(

    and no one oQects"

    In France the tit-e of monsei*neur or m' -ord is a

    %er' serious usiness" !efore the time of Cardina-

    Riche-ieu a isho) $as on-' #a most re%erend father

    in od"#

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    !efore the 'ear [email protected]< isho)s did not on8-' not as8

    sume the tit-e of monsei*neur themse-%es( ut the'

    did not e%en *i%e it to cardina-s" These t$o customs

    $ere introduced ' a isho) of Chartres( $ho( in fu--

    canonica-s of -a$n and )ur)-e( $ent to ca-- Cardina-

    Riche-ieu monsei*neur( on $hich occasion Louis


    ;III" oser%ed that #Chartrain $ou-d not mind

    sa-utin* the cardina- au derriere"#

    It is on-' since that )eriod that isho)s ha%e

    mutua--' a))-ied to each other the tit-e of mon8


     The )u-ic made no oQection to this a))-ication

    of itG ut( as it $as a ne$ tit-e( not conferred on

    isho)s ' in*s( the' continued to e ca--ed sieurs

    in edicts( dec-arations( ordinances and a-- ocia- doc8

    umentsG and $hen the counci- $rote to a isho)

    the' *a%e him no hi*her tit-e than monsieur"

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     The dues and )eers ha%e encountered more di8

    cu-t' in acHuirin* )ossession of the tit-e of mon8

    sei*neur" The *rande no-esse( and $hat is ca--ed

    the *rand roe( decided-' refuse them that distinc8

    tion" The hi*hest *ratication of human )ride con8

    sists in a man5s recei%in* tit-es of honor from those

    $ho concei%e themse-%es his eHua-s G ut to attain

    this is eBceedin*-' dicu-t G )ride a-$a's nds )ride

    to contend $ith"

    When the dues insisted on recei%in* the tit-e of

    monsei*neur from the c-ass of *ent-emen( the )resi8

    dents of the )ar-iaments reHuired the same from ad8

    %ocates and )roctors" A certain )resident actua--'

    refused to e -ed ecause his sur*eon ased0 #In

    $hich arm $i-- 'ou e -ed( monsieurJ# An o-d

    counse--or treated this matter some$hat more *a'-'"

    A )-eader $as sa'in* to him( #3onsei*neur( mon8

    sieur( 'our secretar'# """" &e sto))ed him short 0

    7 Phi-oso)hica-

    #6ou ha%e uttered three -unders(# sa's he( #in as

    man' $ords" I am not monsei*neur G m' secretar'

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    is not monsieurG he is m' c-er"#

     To )ut an end to this *rand conict of %anit' it

    $i-- e%entua--' e found necessar' to *i%e the tit-e

    of monsei*neur to e%er' indi%idua- in the nation G as

    $omen( $ho $ere former-' content $ith mademoi8

    se--e( are no$ to e ca--ed madame" In S)ain( $hen

    a mendicant meets a rother e**ar( he thus accosts

    him 0 #&as 'our courtes' taen choco-ate J# This

    )o-iteness of -an*ua*e e-e%ates the mind and ee)s

    u) the di*nit' of the s)ecies" Caesar and Pom)e'

    $ere ca--ed in the senate Caesar and Pom)e'" !ut

    these men ne$ nothin* of -ife" The' ended their

    -etters $ith %a-e adieu" We( $ho )ossess more

    eBa-ted notions( $ere siBt' 'ears a*o #aMectionate

    ser%ants#G then #%er' hum-e and %er' oedient#G

    and no$ $e #ha%e the honor to e# so" I rea--'

    *rie%e for )osterit'( $hich $i-- nd it eBtreme-'

    dicu-t to add to these %er' eautifu- formu-as" The

    Due d5)ernon( the rst of ascons in )ride(

    thou*h far from ein* the rst of statesmen( $rote

    on his deathed to Cardina- Riche-ieu and ended his

    -etter $ith 0 #6our %er' hum-e and %er' oedient"#

    Reco--ectin*( ho$e%er( that the cardina- had used

    on-' the )hrase #%er' aMectionate(# he des)atched

    an eB)ress to rin* ac the -etter for it had een

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    actua--' sent oMU( e*an it ane$( si*ned #%er' aMec8

    tionate(# and died in the ed of honor"

    We ha%e made man' of these oser%ations e-se8

    Dictionar'" >

    $here" It is $e--( ho$e%er( to re)eat them( $ere it

    on-' to correct some )om)ous )eacocs( $ho $ou-d

    strut a$a' their -i%es in contem)ti-' dis)-a'in*

    their )-umes and their )ride"


    I A3 certain G I ha%e friends G m' fortune is

    secure G m' re-ations $i-- ne%er aandon me G I sha--

    ha%e Qustice done me G m' $or is *ood( it $i-- e

    $e-- recei%ed G $hat is o$in* to me $i-- e )aid G m'

    friend $i-- e faithfu-( he has s$orn it G the minister

    $i-- ad%ance me he has( ' the $a'( )romised it

    a-- these are $ords $hich a man $ho has -i%ed a

    short time in the $or-d erases from his dictionar'"

    When the Qud*es condemned L5An*-ade( Le

    !run( a-as( Sir%en( 3artin( 3ontai--i( and so

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    man' others( since acno$-ed*ed to ha%e een inno8

    cent( the' $ere certain( or the' ou*ht to ha%e een

    certain( that a-- these unha))' men $ere *ui-t' G 'et

    the' $ere decei%ed" There are t$o $a's of ein*

    decei%edG ' fa-se Qud*ment and se-f8-indness

    that of errin* -ie a man of *enius( and that of decid8

    in* -ie a foo-"

     The Qud*es decei%ed themse-%es -ie men of

    *enius in the aMair of L5An*-adeG the' $ere

    -inded ' da44-in* a))earances and did not su8

    cient-' eBamine the )roai-ities on the other side"

     Their $isdom made them e-ie%e it certain that

    L5An*-ade had committed a theft( $hich he certain-'

    had not committed G and on this misera-e uncertain


  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    shut u) in another dun*eon( $ith her dau*hter(

    a*ed se%en 'ears( $ho after$ards married a coun8

    se--or of the same )ar-iament $hich had condemned

    her father to the *a--e's and her mother to anish8


    It is c-ear that the Qud*es $ou-d not ha%e )ro8

    nounced this sentence had the' een rea--' certain"

    &o$e%er( e%en at the time this sentence $as )assed

    se%era- )ersons ne$ that the theft had een com8

    mitted ' a )riest named a*nat( associated $ith a

    hi*h$a'man( and the innocence of L5An*-ade $as

    not reco*ni4ed ti-- after his death"

     The' $ere in the same manner certain $hen( ' a

    sentence in the rst instance( the' condemned to

    the $hee- the innocent Le !run( $ho( ' an arret

    )ronounced on his a))ea-( $as roen on the rac(

    and died under the torture"

     The eBam)-es of a-as and Sir%en are $e-- no$n(

    that of 3artin is -ess so" &e $as an honest a*ricu-8

    turist near !ar in Lorraine" A %i--ain sto-e his dress

    and in this dress murdered a tra%e--er $hom he ne$

    to ha%e mone' and $hose route he had $atched"

    3artin $as accused( his dress $as a $itness a*ainst

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    him G the Qud*es re*arded this e%idence as a cer8

    taint'" Not the )ast conduct of the )risoner( a num8

    erous fami-' $hom he had rou*ht u) %irtuous-'(

    Dictionar'" < =

    neither the -itt-e mone' found on him( nor the eB8

    treme )roai-it' of his innocence nothin* cou-d

    sa%e him" The sua-tern Qud*e made a merit of his

    ri*or" &e condemned the innocent %ictim to e

    roen on the $hee-( and( ' an unha))' fata-it' the

    sentence $as eBecuted to the fu-- eBtent" The senior

    3artin is roen a-i%e( ca--in* od to $itness his

    innocence to his -ast reath G his fami-' is dis)ersed(

    his -itt-e )ro)ert' is conscated( and scarce-' are his

    roen memers eB)osed on the *reat road $hen the

    assassin $ho had committed the murder and theft is

    )ut in )rison for another crime( and confesses on the

    rac( to $hich he is condemned in his turn( that he

    on-' $as *ui-t' of the crime for $hich 3artin had

    suMered torture and death"

    3ontai--i( $ho s-e)t $ith his $ife( $as accused

    $ith ha%in*( in concert $ith her( i--ed his mother(

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    $ho had e%ident-' died of a)o)-eB'" The counci- of

    Arras condemned 3ontai--i to eB)ire on the rac(

    and his $ife to e urnt" Their innocence $as dis8

    co%ered( ut not unti- 3ontai--i had een tortured"

    Let us cease ad%ertence to these me-ancho-' ad%en8

    tures( $hich mae us *roan at the human condition G

    ut -et us continue to -ament the )retended certaint'

    of Qud*es( $hen the' )ass such sentences"

     There is no certaint'( eBce)t $hen it is )h'sica--'

    or mora--' im)ossi-e that the thin* can e other8

    $ise" What is a strict demonstration necessar' to

    ena-e us to assert that the surface of a s)here is

    eHua- to four times the area of its *reat circ-e G and

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    committin* the crime( and the interest of his enemies

    to destro' him" E%er' Qud*e shou-d sa' to himse-f 0

    Wi-- not )osterit'( $i-- not entire Euro)e condemn

    m' sentence J Sha-- I s-ee) tranHui--' $ith m' hands

    tainted $ith innocent -ood J Let us )ass from this

    horri-e )icture to other eBam)-es of a certaint'

    $hich -eads direct-' to error"

    Wh' art thou -oaded $ith chains( fanatica- and

    unha))' Santon J Wh' hast thou added a -ar*e iron

    rin* on th' misera-e scour*eJ It is ecause I am

    certain of ein* one da' )-aced in the rst hea%en(

    ' the side of our *reat )ro)het" A-as( m' friend(

    come $ith me to the nei*horhood of 3ount Athos

    and thou $i-t see three thousand mendicants $ho are

    as certain that thou $i-t *o to the *u-f $hich is under

    the narro$ rid*e( as that the' $i-- a-- *o to the rst


    Sto)( misera-e 3a-aar $ido$( e-ie%e not the

    foo- $ho )ersuades 'ou that 'ou sha-- e reunited to

    'our husand in a-- the de-i*hts of another $or-d( if

    'ou urn 'ourse-f on his funera- )i-e No( I )ersist

    in urnin* m'se-f ecause I am certain of -i%in* in

    fe-icit' $ith m' husand G m' rahmin to-d me so"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    Let us attend to -ess fri*htfu- certainties( and


  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    Witchcraft( di%inations( and )ossessions $ere for

    a -on* time the most certain thin*s in the $or-d in

    the e'es of societ'" What an innumera-e cro$d of

    )eo)-e $ho ha%e seen a-- these ne thin*s and $ho

    ha%e een certain of them At )resent this certaint'

    is a -itt-e shaen"

    A 'oun* man $ho is e*innin* to stud' *eometr'

    comes to me G he is on-' at the denition of trian*-es"

    Are 'ou not certain( said I to him( that the three

    an*-es of a trian*-e are eHua- to t$o ri*ht an*-esJ

    &e ans$ered that not on-' $as he not certain of it(

    ut that he had not the s-i*htest idea of the )ro)osi8

    tion" I demonstrated it to him" &e then ecame

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    as a *eometrica- truthJ 6es( se)tica- as I am( I

    a%o$ it" Wh'J It is that these truths are )ro%ed

    ' the same )rinci)-e that it is im)ossi-e for a thin*

    to eBist and not eBist at the same time" I cannot

    at the same time fee- and not fee-" A trian*-e can8

    not at the same time contain a hundred and ei*ht'

    de*rees( $hich are the sum of t$o ri*ht an*-es( and

    not contain them" The )h'sica- certaint' of m' eB8

    istence( of m' identit'( is of the same %a-ue as mathe8

    matica- certaint'( a-thou*h it is of a diMerent ind"

    It is not the same $ith the certaint' founded on

    a))earances( or on the unanimous testimon' of man8


    !ut ho$( 'ou $i-- sa' to me( are 'ou not certain

    that Pein eBists J &a%e 'ou not merchandise from

    PeinJ Peo)-e of diMerent countries and diMerent

    o)inions ha%e %ehement-' $ritten a*ainst one an8

    other $hi-e )reachin* the truth at Pein G then are

    'ou not assured of the eBistence of this to$nJ I

    ans$er that it is eBtreme-' )roa-e that there ma'

    e a cit' of Pein ut I $ou-d not $a*er m' -ife that

    such a to$n eBists( and I $ou-d at an' time $a*er

    m' -ife that the three an*-es of a trian*-e are eHua-

    to t$o ri*ht an*-es"

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    $ere $ont to %anish at the cro$in* of the coc"

     The ima*ination is )-eased $ith the im)erce)ti-e

    transition from rute matter to or*ani4ed matter(

    from )-ants to 4oo)h'tes( from 4oo)h'tes to anima-s(

    from anima-s to men( from men to *enii( from these

    *enii( c-ad in a -i*ht aeria- od'( to immateria- su8

    stances of a thousand diMerent orders( risin* from

    eaut' to )erfection( u) to od &imse-f" This hier8

    arch' is %er' )-easin* to 'oun* men $ho -oo u)on

    it as u)on the )o)e and cardina-s( fo--o$ed ' the

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    come od J Is there not innit' et$een them J

    Nor does this chain( this )retended *radation( an'

    more eBist in %e*eta-es and anima-s G the )roof is

    that some s)ecies of )-ants and anima-s ha%e een

    entire-' destro'ed" We ha%e no mureB" The 1e$s

    $ere foridden to eat *rin and iBion( these t$o

    s)ecies( $hate%er !ochart ma' sa'( ha%e )roa-'

    disa))eared from the earth" Where( then( is the

    chain J

    Su))osin* that $e had not -ost some s)ecies( it is

    e%ident that the' ma' e destro'ed" Lions and

    rhinoceroses are ecomin* %er' scarce( and if the

    rest of the nations had imitated the En*-ish( there

    $ou-d not no$ ha%e een a $o-f -eft" It is )roa-e

    that there ha%e een races of men $ho are no -on*er

    to e found" Wh' shou-d the' not ha%e eBisted as

    $e-- as the $hites( the -acs( the Kars( to $hom

    nature has *i%en an a)ron of their o$n sin( han*8

    in* from the e--' to the midd-e of the thi*h G the

    Samo'eds( $hose $omen ha%e ni))-es of a eautifu-


  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII



  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    diMerent from the circu-ar orit of VenusG it is

    t$ent'8se%en times sma--er than the earth( the sun is

    a mi--ion times -ar*er( and 3ars is %e times sma--er"

     The -atter *oes his round in t$o 'ears( his nei*hor

     1u)iter in t$e-%e( and Saturn in thirt' G 'et Saturn(

    the most distant of a--( is not so -ar*e as 1u)iter"

    Where is the )retended *radation J

    And then( ho$( in so man' em)t' s)aces( do 'ou

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII



     T&E )resent( $e sa'( is )re*nant $ith the future G

    e%ents are -ined one $ith another ' an in%inci-e

    fata-it'" This is the fate $hich( in &omer( is su)e8

    rior to 1u)iter himse-f" The master of *ods and men

    eB)ress-' dec-ares that he cannot )re%ent his son

    Sar)edon from d'in* at the time a))ointed" Sar8

    )edon $as orn at the moment $hen it $as neces8

    sar' that he shou-d e orn( and cou-d not e orn

    at an' other G he cou-d not die e-se$here than efore

     Tro'G he cou-d not e uried e-se$here than in

    L'cia G his od' must( in the a))ointed time( )roduce

    %e*eta-es( $hich must chan*e into the sustance of

    some of the L'cians G his heirs must esta-ish a ne$

    order of thin*s in his states G that ne$ order must

    inuence nei*horin* in*doms G thence must resu-t

    a ne$ arran*ement in $ar and in )eace $ith the

    nei*hors of L'cia" So that( from -in to -in( the

    destin' of the $ho-e earth de)ended on the e-o)e8


    ment of &e-en( $hich had a necessar' connection

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VII


    $ith the marria*e of &ecua( $hich( ascendin* to

    hi*her e%ents( $as connected $ith the ori*in of


    &ad an' one of these occurrences een ordered

    other$ise( the resu-t $ou-d ha%e een a diMerent

    uni%erse" No$( it $as not )ossi-e for the ac