Imatges de pÓgina

peated the same words with a firm voice; and all were serious. I confess that I see nothing in common be-, tween the majesty of the English and that of the Roman people, and still less between their governments. There is a senate in London, some members of which are suspected, though wrongly no doubt,t of selling their voices on occasion as was done at Rome; that is all the resemblance. Besides, the two nations appear to me entirely different, both in good and evil. The horrible folly of religious wars was never known among the Romans: this abominaton was reserved for devotees, preachers of humility and patience. Marius and Sylla, Pompey and Cæsar, Anthony and Augustus, never fought to decide whether the flamen should wear his shirt under his gown, or his gown underneath his shirt, and whether the sacred fowls which were taken for augurs should eat and drink, or eat alone.

The Eng. lish formerly reciprocally hanged one another at their assizes, and were destroyed in pitched battles for quarrels of such a kind. The sects of episcopalians and presbyterians for a time turned their melancholy heads. I imagine that such a folly will never more happen to them; they appear to me to become wise at their own expense, and I now see in them no wish to cut one another's throats for syllogisms. answer for men at all times? There is a more essential difference between Rome and England, which places all the advantage on the side of the latter; it is, that the fruit of the civil wars of Rome has been slavery, and that of the troubles of England liberty. The English nation is the only one on earth which either rules the power of kings by resisting them, and which by continued efforts has finally established this wise government, where the prince, all powerful in doing good, has his hands tied from doing evil; where lords are great without insolence or vassals; and where the people divide the government without confusion.

The houses of Lords and of Commons are the

Who can

* No doubt.-T.

arbiters of the nation; the king is the umpire. This balance was wanting to the Romans; the great and the multitude were always divided at Rome, unless there was a medium power which joined them. The senate of Rome, which had the unjust and punishable pride of not wishing to divide anything with the plebians, knew no other secret to keep them from the government than always occupying them in foreign wars. It regarded the people as a ferocious beast, whom they must let loose upon their neighbours, for fear it should devour its masters. Thus the greatest fault of the government of the Romans made them conquerors; it was because they were unhappy among themselves that they became the masters of the world until finally their divisions rendered them slaves.

The government of England is not constituted for so great an eclat, nor for so fatal an end; its aim is not the brilliant folly of making conquests, but to prevent its neighbours from making them. This people is not jealous of its own liberty alone; it is also jealous of that of others. The English were exasperated against Louis XIV. solely because they believed him to be ambitious.

Doubtless it has cost much to establish liberty in England; it is in seas of blood that they have drowned the idol of despotic power; but the English think not that they have bought their laws too dear. Other nations have not shed less blood than themselves, but the blood that they have shed has only confirmed their servitude.

What becomes a revolution in England, is but a sedition in other countries. A town takes arms to defend its privileges in Barbary or Turkey; mercenary soldiers soon conquer it, hangmen punish it, and the rest of the nation kiss their chains. "The French think that the government of this island is more stormy than the sea which surrounds it; and that is true, but it is only when the king begins the tempest, and would render himself master of the vessel of which he is but first pilot. The civil wars of France have been lon




ger, more cruel, and more fertile in crimes, than those of England; but of all these civil wars none has had a wise liberty for its object.* In the detestable times of Charles IX. and Henry III. they contended only to know if they should be the slaves of the Guises; as to the last war of Paris, it deserves only to be hissed at. They seem to me like scholars who mutiny against the prefect of a college, and who finish by being caned. Cardinal Retz, with much mind and ill-employed courage, rebelled without any object, was factious without a design, the chief of a party without an army, caballed for caballing's sake, and seemed to make civil war for his pleasure. The parliament of Paris knew not what he would do, nor what he would not; he raised troops by order and put them down again; menaced and asked pardon; he put a price on cardinal Mazarin's head, and afterwards went in ceremony to compliment him. Our civil wars under Charles VI. were cruel; those of the League were abominable; that of the Fronde was ridiculous.

The greatest reproach in France to the English, and with reason, is the punishment of Charles I.-a monarch worthy of a better lot, who was treated by his conquerors as he would have treated them, had he been fortunate. After all, regard on one side Charles I. vanquished in battle-array, a prisoner, tried, con demned in Westminster, and beheaded; and on the other, the emperor Henry VII. poisoned by his chap lain while receiving the sacrament--Henry III. assassi. nated by a monk-thirty meditated assassinations against Henry IV. several of which were attempted, and the last finally depriving France of this great king ;-weigh these outrages, and judge.

* This is almost as true since the revolution as before it, or when Voltaire wrote.-T.

+ This is well put; but a certain class of defenders of religion and social order affect to see but one kind of crime against them.-T.

PASSIONS. Their Influence upon the Body, and that of the Body

upon them.

PRAY inform me, doctor-I do not mean a doctor of medicine, who really possesses some degree of knowledge, who has long examined the sinuosities of the brain, who has investigated whether there is a circulating fluid in the nerves, who has repeatedly and assiduously dissected the human matrix in vain, to discover something of the formation of thinking beings, and who, in short, knows all of our machine that can be known; alas! I mean a very different person, a doctor of theology;-I adjure you, by that reason at the very name of which you shudder, tell me why it is, that in consequence of your young and handsome housekeeper saying a few loving words, and giving -herself a few coquettish airs, your blood becomes instantly agitated, and your whole frame thrown into a tumult of desire, which speedily leads to pleasures, of which neither herself nor you can explain the cause, but which terminate with the introduction into the world of a thinking being encrusted all over with original sin. Inform me, I entreat you, how the action tends to, or is connected with the result? You may

read and re-read Sanchez and Thomas Aquinas, and Scot and Bonaventure, but you will never in consequence know an iota the more of that incomprehensible mechanism by which the eternal architect directs your ideas and your actions, and originates the little bastard of a priest predestined to damnation from all eternity.

On the following morning, when taking your chocolate, your memory retraces the image of pleasure which you experienced the evening before, and the scene and rapture are repeated. Have you any idea, my great automaton friend, what this same memory, which you possess in common with every species of animals, really is? Do you know what fibres recal your ideas, and paint in your brain the joys of the evening, by a continuous sentiment, a consciousness, a personal identity which slept with you and awoke with you? The doctor replies, in the language of Thomas Aquinas, that all this is the work of his vegetative soul, his sensitive soul, and his intellectual soul, all three of which compose a soul which, although without extension itself, evidently acts on a body possessed of extension in course.

I perceive, by his embarrassed manner, that he has been stammering out words without a single idea; and I at length say to him, If you feel, doctor, that, however reluctantly, you must in your own mind admit that you do not know what a soul is, and that

you have been talking all your life without any distinct meaning, why not acknowledge it like an honest man? Why do you not conclude the same as must be concluded from the physical premotion of doctor Bourssier, and from certain passages of Malebranche, and, -above all, from the acute and judicious Locke, so far superior to Malebranche,-why do you not, I say, conclude that your soul is a faculty which God has bestowed upon you without disclosing to you the secret of his process, as he has bestowed on you various others? Be assured, that many men of deep reflection maintain that, properly speaking, the unknown power of the divine artificer, and his unknown laws, alone perform everything in us; and that, to speak more correctly still, we shall never know in fact anything at all about the matter.

The doctor at this becomes agitated and irritated; the blood rushes into his face; if he had been stronger than myself, and had not been restrained by a sense of decency, he would certainly have struck me. His heart swells; the systole and diastole are interrupted in their regular operation; his brain is compressed; and he falls down in a fit of apoplexy. What connection could there be between this blood, and heart, and brain, and an old opinion of the doctor contrary to my own? Does a pure intellectual spirit fall into syncope when another is of a different opinion? I have uttered certain sounds; he has uttered certain sounds; and

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