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The situation, at the beginning of the fifteenth century, among intellectuals and aristocrats was very much the same as that which prevailed at the courts of France, Prussia and Russia at the end of the eighteenth century. Princes and nobles extended to Voltaire similar favours, and for the same reasons.

Only another day, when my pockets will be empty, do think what an excellent thing a roasted dog is, and make up your mind while Fox has still some little flesh on his bones." "Flesh!" said Savarin, detaining them. "Look! See how right Voltaire was in saying, 'Amusement is the first necessity of civilised man. Paris can do without bread Paris still retains Polichinello."

The Essai sur les Moeurs is an exceedingly amusing narrative, but it is a long and learned work filling several volumes, and the fruit of many years of research. Voltaire was determined henceforward to distil its spirit into more compendious and popular forms. He had no more time for elaborate dissertations; he must reach the public by quicker and surer ways.

No more biting irony was ever put out by Voltaire than this, and the pathos of it lies in the fact that the father was quite unable to appreciate the quip. It was a sample of filial humor much more subtle than that indulged in by Charles Dickens, who pilloried his parents in print, one as Mr. Micawber and the other as Mrs. Nickleby.

This was no less the case in the Netherlands than elsewhere; and the American revolt was regarded as a realisation and vindication in practical politics of the teaching of Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau, whose works were widely read, and of the Englishmen Hume, Priestley and Richard Price.

He found in Vauvenargues "the simplicity of a timid child," and it seems that he had a difficulty in overcoming his modesty so far as to make him write down those Reflections which are now placed for ever among the masterpieces of French literature. It is to Voltaire that we owe the fact that Vauvenargues found resolution enough to become an author.

However, he never fooled all of the people all of the time. There was always a goodly number of dignitaries who richly enjoyed the drubbing he gave the other fellow, and these would gloat in inward glee over the Voltaire ribaldry until it came their turn. Then the other side would laugh.

Even men like Diderot and Voltaire, whose lives were for years made bitter by Jesuit machinations, gave many signs that they recognised the aid which had been rendered by their old masters to the cultivation and enlightenment of Europe.

BECCARIA dared to plead in favour of humanity against the prejudices of many centuries in his small volume on "Crimes and Punishments," and at length abolished torture; while the French advocates drew their principles from that book, rather than from their national code, and our Blackstone quoted it with admiration! LOCKE and VOLTAIRE, having written on "Toleration," have long made us tolerant.

The view that man has throughout been blindly moving in the right direction is the counterpart of what Bossuet represented as a divine plan wrought out by the actions of men who are ignorant of it, and is sharply opposed to the views, of Voltaire and the other philosophers of the day who ascribed Progress exclusively to human reason consciously striving against ignorance and passion.