As he points out, the belief in witchcraft never was disproved, it simply died because science made it impossible to believe that witches could disorganize natural laws. It may seem as if imitation were a separate principle in mental growth, and there have been many to state this. As is well known Tarde made it a leading factor in human development.
Le Tarde goes so far as to make this the fundamental principle of human evolution. He has shown that it is ever at work in the life of every human being, modifying all his thoughts, acts, and feelings. In the evolution of civilization the rare man thinks, the millions imitate.
I cannot quit La Roche Gageac without a word on one of its most illustrious natives, Jean Tarde, born there in 1561 the friend of Galileo, and who, the first in France, five years after the great Florentine had begun to search the skies with his telescope, invented one year previously, erected his tube here at one of the openings of this eagle's nest, and during ten consecutive years pursued his astronomic studies.
Initia principatus ac statim urbis Mucianus regebat, juvene admodum Domitiano et ex paterna fortuna tantum licentiam usurpante. Is missum ad delectus agendos Agricolam integreque ac strenue versatum, vicesimae legioni, tarde ad sacramentum transgressae; praeposuit, ubi decessor seditiose agere narrabatur: quippe legatis quoque consularibus nimia ac formidolosa erat.
I am ashamed to tell you that I lost it the day after you gave it to me!" "Oh! never mind. "You will know the way, Captain. Yonder is our house." And the lad pointed to the white turrets of an aristocratic-looking mansion that appeared over the tree-tops, about a mile distant from the town. "I shall easily find it." "Adieu, then, Captain; we shall be impatient till you arrive hasta la tarde!"
I have already shown that, by the mere fact that an individual forms part of a crowd, his intellectual standard is immediately and considerably lowered. A learned magistrate, M. Tarde, has also verified this fact in his researches on the crimes of crowds. It is only, then, with respect to sentiment that crowds can rise to a very high or, on the contrary, descend to a very low level.
The communities of husbandmen will be as sharply differenced from one another, so far as I can see, as men are in the great cities. Leadership is the essential of progress. Gabriel Tardé has clearly demonstrated that only those who are at the top of the social scale can initiate social and economic enterprises. The cultivation of the soil for generations to come must be highly progressive.
He had not proceeded far, when a hand was laid upon his arm, and turning, with somewhat pugnacious intentions, encountered Father Mazzolin's piercing black eyes. "Bueño tarde, Padre." The black eyes rested on Nevarro with an expression which seemed to demand an explanation of his choler. Mañuel moved uneasily; the hot blood glowed in his swarthy cheek, and swelled like cords on the darkened brow.
It is said that when Scheiner, himself a Jesuit, communicated to the Provincial of the Jesuits his discovery of the spots on the sun, the latter, a staunch Aristotelian, cautioned him not to see these things. Tardé maintained that they should be called Astra Borbonia, in honour of the royal family of France; but C. Malapert insisted that they should be called Sidera Austriaca.
In his preface to the volume on Gabriel Tarde, his predecessor in the chair of Modern Philosophy at the College de France, written in 1909, we find Bergson remarking: On mesure la portee d'une doctrine philosophique a la variete des idees ou elle s'epanouit et a la symplicite du principe ou elle se ramasse. This remark may serve us as a criterion in surveying his own work.