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are very certain he will be d-d, but we are not so sure that he will be beaten."
.... Sometimes Voltaire said that he was dying; at other times, that he was beholden for his life and health to Tronchin, his physician; and, in the same moment, he would ridicule both medicine and its dispenser. Tronchin, on his side, was no way satisfied with his patient. When I told this skilful man that I was about to take my leave, he said, “ You are right; it is very astonishing that, since you have been here, you have experienced from him no ill behaviour: nemo sic. impar sibi. “Depart, father, few persons can boast that they have seen Voltaire so long in a good humour.”
.... Helvetius had a place at court, presented his book to the royal family, and was graciously treated on the occasion. I was delighted with this news, for I knew the author, who was a mild, dispassionate man, generally beloved, but had not been deemed capable of producing such a work as that intitled 'De l'Esprit.' The dauphin extolled it, and recommended it to the attention of the queen. The tenipèst, however, was not long ere it burst over the book and the author. “ What folly,” cried Voltaire, “to attempt to be the philosopher at court, and the courtier among philoso. phers !"-Voltaire was hostile to the work, and spoke of it in these terms: “It is an unmeaning title, a work without method, with abundance of common-place and superficial observations; and what is new in it is false, or problematical.” Madame Graffigny, the celebrated author of the · Peruvian Letters, maternal aunt to Helvetius, one day addressing me, said, “Would you believe it, a great part of the work · De l'Esprit,' and
almost all the notes, are the mere sweepings of my apartment; he has made a collection of what was valuable in my conversation, and borrowed about a dozen bon mots from my friends ? Voltaire laughed heartily while I related to him this anecdote, and recounted to me a multitude of others of the same kind, which related to the first wits at Paris; and, among others, to his own most zealous admirers. The only person of whom Voltaire spoke uniformly with esteem and enthusiasm, was Madame de Chatelet, of whom he had many portraits in his apartments. Showing me one of them, one day, he said, “behold my immortal Emily*."
....“ I asked Voltaire," says a fair writer, " what he thought of M. Condorcet's eulogium on Pascal." “ It is so exquisite,” said he, “that it alarms me."“ How is that, Sir?"_“Yes, Madam, if that man was 80 great, we are arrant fools not think as he did. M. Condorcet would do much harm if he publishes this work in its present state: admit that Racine was a good Christian, that is not extraordinary; he was a poet, a man of imagination. But Pascal was a reasoner, and we must not have the reasoners against ust; in fact, Pascal was an enthusiastic valetudinarian, with perhaps as little good faith as his antagonists. He spoke to us of his brother, the Jansenist, who, he said, was so fond of martyrdom, that he told a friend who thought as he did, but who argued against doing any thing to court persecution: “ Zooks, if you have no desire to be hanged, at least do not set others against it."
* Here end the particulars of Voltaire related by Betti. nelli: we have found the following in a paper of Seward's Lite. rary Miscellanies, intitled A Journey to Ferney. They are detailed by a young married lady, who had been captivated to enthu. siasm by the works of the philosopher.
+ The above observation shows, in a strong light, the pre. judiced mind of the philosopher, and is characteristic of his temper and turn of mind. He possessed a laudable aversion to persecution, and we see him induiging in the spirit of it, to the utmost, against the memory of the matchless Pascal. Is not the temper the same, whether the injustice be done to the memory, the reputation, the property, or the person of the object of it, as in the case of Calas, whom Voltaire very eloquently defended ?
.... By the side of Voltaire's bed hung two engravings of the family of Calas; I had never before seen that which represents the wife and children of this victim of fanaticism embracing him at the very moment in which his enemies were leading him to death, and it made the most painful impression on me. I reproached Voltaire for having placed them so as to have them constantly under his eye: his answer is very remarkable, and, if founded in truth, it did the greatest credit to his feelings:~"Ah, Madam! during eleven years I was taken up with this unhappy family, and with that of the Servens; and, during that time, every smile that escaped me I regarded as a crime.” This he related to me in an accent so natural and so moving, , as deeply to affect me.
..... In his conversation with me, continues the fair
writer, he did not represent himself as by any means sanguine respecting the progress of those views which he was so indefatigably engaged in propagating. “The nurse," he said, pointing to the whole length of his arm, “ leaves traces as long as this; while reason, when it arrives in its turn, only makes impressions of the length of one's finger.” Among his disciples he seems to have regarded Condorcet with most expectation. According to his account to me, even his latter days were embittered with apprehension of harsh treatment on the part of the government; and he told me, that M. Seguier, having been recently at Ferney, had called on him, and threatened to denounce him to his corps, the parliament of Paris, who would burn him if he, Seguier, urged the matter. I exclaimed, “Sir, they will not dare to do it!"_" What is to hinder them?"_“Your genius, your age, the services which you have rendered to humanity, the voice of all Europe, all the honour that exists, all the humanity and toleration which you have called forth, will lift up their heads in your favour,"_" Alas, Madam! they would be glad to see me burned; and at night, perhaps, they would say, it was a great pity.”—I desired him to dismiss forebodings so distressing, and added, “ I will poniard the executioner, if he dares attempt so execrable a deed*.” He kissed my hand, and replied : “You are an amiable girl; yes, I rely upon you.”
* To the fair writer of these anecdotes Voltaire was an ob. ject of admiration. He is the great master of the drama; the rich genius pouring out the happiest effusions; the protector of the oppressed; the avenger of the persecuted, whom she
.... Voltaire, adds the interesting fair writer, was. very gallant and polite with the ladies; he was fond of seeing them well dressed. The commendations which I bestowed on his appearance, induced him to dress himself with those habiliments which he regarded as setting him off to the most advantage; yet he was more than eighty years old at the time of my visit. The utmost order prevailed in his cabinet; every thing was in its proper place, and he knew the precise situation of each book; no heaps of books, no bundles of papers scattered in confusion, were seen in his apartment. A great abundance of pens lay on his desk; I begged one of him, and he kindly sought for one which he thought he had most used.
M. Condorcet, in his performance, has given to the world rather a critical account of Voltaire's work, than a description of the man, of whom he was too much a partisan to delineate him with fidelity. But the various anecdotes here given, are sketches by which the true character of this astonishing personage is to be developed; a character certainly different from any that have been furnished by his biographers.
tol and mers, In the love
always panegyrises, without ever attempting to justify or pal, liate the deformities and defects with which he was chargeable. Our readers must not wonder, to see her transforming herself into an heroine and a martyr, to defend or avenge the object or her idolatry.
luptuou mon en and tha