Bergson's life has been the quiet and uneventful one of a French professor, the chief landmarks in it being the publication of his three principal works, first, in 1889, the Essai sur les donnees immediates de la conscience, then Matiere et Memoire in 1896, and L'Evolution creatrice in 1907.
He had been guilty of a passionate attachment to a young lady of disproportionate expectations. The young victim of parental wrong, thus severely taught that the splendors of a court were but a veneer under which lay the terrible springs of a wayward tyranny, killed time in brooding over the ideas and studies which subsequently formed his "Essai" no less than his character "sur le despotisme."
What could I do against Darthe supported by Saint-Just and Lebas? He would have denounced me." Ibid., 128, apropos of a certain Lefevre, "veteran of the Revolution," arrested and brought before the revolutionary tribunal by order of Lebon. "It was necessary to take the choice of condemning him, or of being denounced and persecuted myself, without saving him." Beaulieu, "Essai," V., 233.
They were thus led to take an interest, not only in facts of a political order, but in the evolution of the arts, the sciences, of industry, and in manners. Montesquieu and Voltaire personified these tendencies. The Essai sur les moeurs is the first sketch, and, in some respects, the masterpiece of history thus conceived.
When, at a later period, coalesced Europe launched against France a million of soldiers; when it became necessary to organize for the crisis fourteen armies, it was the ingenious author of the Essai sur les Machines and of the Géométrie des Positions who directed this gigantic operation.
We are inclined rather to believe that in its highest exercise of power the scientific mind is attempting much the same feat as the highest type of poetic mind, and that in both cases it is a feat of imaginative energy. Creative and Artistic Imagination Ribot, Essai sur l'Imagination creatrice. Paris, 1900.
Their anxiety for enriching themselves, their vanity, the authority which they exercised over the poor Indians, are the motives which actuate them, and not the love of God or the propagating of the faith." Essai Politique. This is the title of this order of friars. The War of the Secret Political Societies of Mexico. The Scotch and the York Free-Masons. Anti-Masons.
Breuil, in Mémoires de la Société des Antiquaires de Picardie, viii. p. 206; E. Cortet, Essai sur les Fêtes Religieuses, p. 216; Laisnel de la Salle, Croyances et Légendes du Centre de la France, i. 83; J. Lecoeur, Esquisses du Bocage Normand, ii. 225. H. Gaidoz, "Le dieu gaulois du soleil et le symbolisme de la roue," Revue Archéologique, iii. Série, iv. p. 26, note 3.
See also "Fragmens Philosophiques," Preface, second edition, p. XXVII.; "Nouveaux Fragments," pp. 9, 160. M. AD. FRANCK, "De la Certitude," Preface, p. M. A. JAVARI, "De la Certitude," p. 509. AMAND SAINTES, "Histoire de la Vie et des Ouvrages de Spinoza," pp. 208, 210. ABBÉ MARET, "Essai sur le Panthéisme dans les Sociétés Modernes," pp. 6, 11, 31.
The process alone of printing in relief would require a vast number of pages, and some plates, in order to make it perfectly intelligible; but the greater part of what composes these branches of instruction is amply detailed in a work, which I shall communicate to you, entitled "Essai sur l'Education des Aveugles, par Valentin Hauey, auteur de la maniere de les instruire," printed under the sanction of the ci-devant Academy of Sciences.
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