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François-Marie Arouet (November 21, 1694 – May 30, 1778), better known by the pen name Voltaire, was a Frenchmarker Enlightenment writer, essayist, and philosopher known for his wit and his defense of civil liberties, including both freedom of religion and free trade.

Voltaire was a prolific writer and produced works in almost every literary form including plays, poetry, novels, essays, historical and scientific works, more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets.

He was an outspoken supporter of social reform, despite strict censorship laws and harsh penalties for those who broke them. A satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize Catholic Church dogma and the French institutions of his day.

Voltaire was one of several Enlightenment figures (along with Montesquieu, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau) whose works and ideas influenced important thinkers of both the American and French Revolutions.

Life

Early career

François Marie Arouet was born in Paris, the youngest of the five children (only three of which survived) of François Arouet (1650–January 1, 1722), a notary who was a minor treasury official, and his wife, Marie Marguerite d'Aumart (ca. 1660–July 13, 1701), from a noble family of the Poitou province. Voltaire was educated by Jesuits at the Collège Louis-le-Grandmarker (1704–11), where he learned Latin and Greek; later in life he became fluent in Italian, Spanish and English.

By the time he left college, Voltaire had decided he wanted to be a writer – however, his father wanted him to become a lawyer. Voltaire, pretending to work in Paris as an assistant to a lawyer, spent much of his time writing poetry. When his father found him out, he sent Voltaire to study law, this time in the provinces. Nevertheless, he continued to write, producing essays and historical studies not always noted for their accuracy, though most were. Voltaire's wit made him popular among some of the aristocratic families he mixed with. Voltaire's father then obtained a job for him as a secretary to the French ambassador in the Netherlands, where Voltaire fell in love with a French refugee named Catherine Olympe Dunoyer. Their scandalous elopement was foiled by Voltaire's father and he was forced to return to France.

Most of Voltaire's early life revolved around Paris. From early on, Voltaire had trouble with the authorities for his energetic attacks on the government and the Catholic Church. These activities were to result in numerous imprisonments and exiles.He allegedly wrote satirical verses about the aristocracy and a work about the Régent thought to be by him led to his imprisonment in the Bastillemarker for eleven months, until the real author came forward. While there, he wrote his debut play, Œdipe. Its success established his reputation.

The name "Voltaire"

The name "Voltaire", which the author adopted in 1718 both as a pen name and for daily use, is an anagram on "AROVET LI," the Latinized spelling of his surname, Arouet, and the initial letters of the sobriquet "le jeune" ("the younger"). The name also echoes in reverse order the syllables of the name of a family château in the Poitou region: "Airvaultmarker". The adoption of the name "Voltaire" following his incarceration at the Bastille is seen by many to mark Voltaire's formal separation from his family and his past.

Richard Holmes supports this derivation of the name, but adds that a writer such as Voltaire would have intended it to also convey its connotations of speed and daring. These come from associations with words such as "voltige" (acrobatics on a trapeze or horse), "volte-face" (a spinning about to face one's enemies), and "volatile" (originally, any winged creature). "Arouet" was not a noble name fit for his growing reputation, especially given that name's resonance with "à rouer" ("for thrashing") and "roué" (a "debauchee").

Voltaire is known to have used at least 178 separate pen names during his lifetime of writing.

England

The aptitude for quick, perceptive, cutting, witty and often scathingly critical repartee for which Voltaire is known today made him highly unpopular with many of his contemporaries, including much of the French aristocracy. These sharp-tongued retorts were responsible for Voltaire's exile from France, during which he resided in England.

After Voltaire offended the young French nobleman Chevalier de Rohan in late 1725, the aristocratic Rohan family obtained a royal lettre de cachet, an irrevocable and often arbitrary penal decree signed by the French King (Louis XV, in the time of Voltaire) that was often bought by members of the wealthy nobility to dispose of undesirables. They then used this warrant to force Voltaire first into imprisonment in the Bastillemarker and then into exile without holding a trial or giving him an opportunity to defend himself. The incident marked the beginning of Voltaire's attempts to improve the French judicial system.

Voltaire's exile in England lasted over two years, and his experiences there greatly influenced many of his ideas. The young man was impressed by Britain's constitutional monarchy in contrast to the French absolute monarchy, as well as the country's support of the freedoms of speech and religion. He was also influenced by several of the neoclassical writers of the age, and developed an interest in earlier English literature, especially the works of Shakespeare, still little known in continental Europe at the time. Despite pointing out his deviations from neoclassical standards, Voltaire saw Shakespeare as an example French writers might look up to, since drama in France, despite being more polished, lacked on-stage action. Later, however, as Shakespeare's influence was being increasingly felt in France, Voltaire would endeavour to set a contrary example with his own plays, decrying what he considered Shakespeare's barbarities.

After almost three years in exile, Voltaire returned to Paris and published his views on British attitudes towards government, literature, and religion in a collection of essays in letter form entitled the Lettres philosophiques sur les Anglais (Philosophical Letters on the English). Because he regarded the British constitutional monarchy as more developed and more respectful of human rights (particularly religious tolerance) than its French counterpart, these letters met great controversy in France, to the point where copies of the document were burnt and Voltaire was again forced to leave France.

Château de Cirey

Voltaire's next destination was the Château de Cirey, located on the borders of Champagne and Lorrainemarker. The building was renovated with his money, and here he began a relationship with the Marquise du Châtelet, Gabrielle Émilie le Tonnelier de Breteuil (famous in her own right as Émilie du Châtelet). Cirey was owned by the Marquise's husband, Marquis Florent-Claude du Chatelet, who sometimes visited his wife and her lover at the chateau. The relationship, which lasted for fifteen years, had a significant intellectual element. Voltaire and the Marquise collected over 21,000 books, an enormous number for the time. Together, they studied these books and performed experiments in the "natural sciences" in his laboratory. Voltaire's experiments included an attempt to determine the elements of fire.

Having learned from his previous brushes with the authorities, Voltaire began his future habit of keeping out of personal harm's way, and denying any awkward responsibility. He continued to write, publishing plays such as Mérope and some short stories. Again, a main source of inspiration for Voltaire were the years of his British exile, during which he had been strongly influenced by the works of Sir Isaac Newton. Voltaire strongly believed in Newton's theories, especially concerning optics (Newton’s discovery that white light is composed of all the colors in the spectrum led to many experiments at Cirey), and gravity (the story of Newton and the apple falling from the tree is mentioned in Voltaire's Essai sur la poésie épique, or Essay on Epic Poetry). Although both Voltaire and the Marquise were curious about the philosophies of Gottfried Leibniz, a contemporary and rival of Newton, they remained "Newtonians" and based their theories on Newton’s works and ideas. Though it has been stated that the Marquise may have been more "Leibnizian", she did write "je newtonise," which translated means, "I am 'newtoning'" or "I 'newtonise'". Voltaire's book, Eléments de la philosophie de Newton (Elements of Newton's Philosophy), was probably co-written with the Marquise, and describes the other branches of Newton's ideas that fascinated him, including optics and the theory of attraction (gravity).

Voltaire and the Marquise also studied history—particularly those persons who had contributed to civilization. Voltaire's second essay in English had been Essay upon the Civil Wars in France. When he returned to France, he wrote a biographical essay of King Charles XII, which marks the beginning of Voltaire's criticism toward established religions. The essay won him the position of historian at the king's court. Voltaire and the Marquise also worked with philosophy, particularly with metaphysics, the branch that dealt with what could not be directly proven: whether or not there was a God, etc. Voltaire and the Marquise analyzed the Bible, trying to discover its validity in their time. Voltaire's critical views on religion are reflected in his belief in separation of church and state and religious freedom, ideas that he had formed after his stay in England.

Though deeply committed to the Marquise, Voltaire by 1744 found life at the château confining. On a visit to Paris that year, he found a new love: his niece. At first, his attraction to Marie Louise Mignot was clearly sexual; he wrote her letters (only discovered in 1957) that verged on pornography, such as "My soul kisses yours; my prick, my heart, are in love with you. I kiss your beautiful ass..." Much later, they lived together, perhaps platonically, and remained together until Voltaire's death. Meanwhile, the Marquise also took a lover, the Marquis de Saint-Lambert.

Sanssouci

After the death of the Marquise in childbirth in September 1749, Voltaire briefly returned to Paris and in 1751 moved to Potsdammarker to join Frederick the Great, a close friend and admirer of his. The king had repeatedly invited him to his palace, and now gave him a salary of 20,000 francs a year. Though life went well at first - in 1752 he wrote Micromégas, perhaps the first piece of science fiction involving ambassadors from another planet witnessing the follies of humankind- his relationship with Frederick the Great began to deteriorate and he encountered other difficulties. Faced with a lawsuit and an argument with Maupertuis, the president of the Berlin Academy of Science, Voltaire wrote the Diatribe du docteur Akakia (Diatribe of Doctor Akakia) which satirized Maupertuis. This greatly angered Frederick, who had all copies of the document burned and arrested Voltaire at an inn where he was staying along his journey home.

Geneva and Ferney

Voltaire headed toward Paris, but Louis XV banned him from the city, so instead he turned to Genevamarker, near which he bought a large estate (Les Délices). Though he was received openly at first, the law in Geneva which banned theatrical performances and the publication of The Maid of Orleans against his will made him move at the end of 1758 out of Geneva across the French border to Ferneymarker, where he had bought an even larger estate, and led to Voltaire's writing of Candide, ou l'Optimisme (Candide, or Optimism) in 1759. This satire on Leibniz's philosophy of optimistic determinism remains the work for which Voltaire is perhaps best known. He would stay in Ferney for most of the remaining 20 years of his life, frequently entertaining distinguished guests, like James Boswell, Giacomo Casanova, and Edward Gibbon. In 1764 he published his most important philosophical work, the Dictionnaire Philosophique, containing a series of articles, many of which were originally written for the Encyclopédie.


From 1762 he began to champion unjustly persecuted people, the case of Jean Calas being the most celebrated. This Huguenot merchant had been tortured to death in 1763, supposedly because he had murdered his son for wanting to convert to Catholicism. His possessions were confiscated and his remaining children were taken from his widow and were forced to become members of a monastery. Voltaire, seeing this as a clear case of religious persecution, managed to overturn the conviction in 1765.

Death and burial

In February 1778, Voltaire returned for the first time in 20 years to Paris, among other reasons to see the opening of his latest tragedy, Irene. The 5-day journey was too much for the 83-year old, and he believed he was about to die on February 28, writing "I die adoring God, loving my friends, not hating my enemies, and detesting superstition." However, he recovered, and in March saw a performance of Irene where he was treated by the audience as a returning hero. However, he soon became ill again and died on May 30, 1778. When asked on his deathbed by a priest to renounce the devil and turn to God, he is alleged to have replied, "Now is no time to be making new enemies". His last words are said to have been, "For God's sake, let me die in peace."
Because of his well-known criticism of the church, which he had refused to retract before his death, Voltaire was denied a Christian burial, but friends managed to bury his body secretly at the abbey of Scellières in Champagne before this prohibition had been announced. His heart and brain were embalmed separately. In July 1791, the National Assembly, which regarded him as a forerunner of the French revolution, had his remains brought back to Paris to enshrine him in the Panthéonmarker. There was an elaborate ceremony, complete with an orchestra, and the music included a piece that André Grétry composed specially for the event, which included a part for the "tuba curva". This was an instrument that originated in Roman times as the cornu but had been recently revived under a new name.

A widely-repeated story that the remains of Voltaire were stolen by religious fanatics in 1814 or 1821 during the Pantheon restoration and thrown into a garbage heap is false. Such rumours resulted in the coffin being opened in 1897, which confirmed that his remains were still present.

Writings

Poetry

From an early age, Voltaire displayed a talent for writing verse and his first published work was poetry. He wrote two long poems, the Henriade and The Maid of Orleans, besides many other smaller pieces.

The Henriade was written in imitation of Virgil, using the Alexandrine couplet reformed and rendered monotonous for dramatic purposes. Voltaire lacked enthusiasm for and understanding of the subject, both of which negatively affected the poem's quality. La Pucelle, on the other hand, is a burlesque work attacking religion and history. Voltaire's minor poems are generally considered superior to either of these two works.

Prose

Frontispiece and first page of chapter one of an early English translation by T.
Smollett et al of Voltaire's "Candide" , printed by J.
Newbery, 1762
Many of Voltaire's prose works and romances, usually composed as pamphlets, were written as polemics. Candide attacks religious and philosophical optimism; L'Homme aux quarante ecus, certain social and political ways of the time; Zadig and others, the received forms of moral and metaphysical orthodoxy; and some were written to deride the Bible. In these works, Voltaire's ironic style, free of exaggeration, is apparent, particularly the restraint and simplicity of the verbal treatment. Candide in particular is the best example of his style.Voltaire also has, in common with Jonathan Swift, the distinction of paving the way for science fiction's philosophical irony, particularly in his Micromégas.
In general criticism and miscellaneous writing, Voltaire's writing was comparable to his other works. Almost all of his more substantive works, whether in verse or prose, are preceded by prefaces of one sort or another, which are models of his caustic yet conversational tone. In a vast variety of nondescript pamphlets and writings, he displays his skills at journalism. In pure literary criticism his principal work is the Commentaire sur Corneille, although he wrote many more similar works sometimes (as in his Life and notices of Molière) independently and sometimes as part of his Siècles.

Voltaire's works, especially his private letters, frequently contain the word "l'infâme" and the expression "écrasez l'infâme, or "crush the infamy". The phrase refers to abuses of the people by royalty and the clergy that Voltaire saw around him, and the superstition and intolerance that the clergy bred within the people. He had felt these effects in his own exiles, in the confiscations of his books, and the hideous sufferings of Calas and La Barre. He also stated that (one of his most famous quotes) "Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them".

The most oft-cited Voltaire quotation is apocryphal. He is incorrectly credited with writing, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” These were not his words, but rather those of Evelyn Beatrice Hall, written under the pseudonym S. G. Tallentyre in her 1906 biographical book The Friends of Voltaire. Hall intended to summarize in her own words Voltaire's attitude towards Claude Adrien Helvétius and his controversial book De l'esprit, but her first-person expression was mistaken for an actual quotation from Voltaire. Her interpretation does capture the spirit of Voltaire’s attitude towards Helvetius; it had been said Hall's summary was inspired by a quotation found in a 1770 Voltaire letter to an Abbot le Roche, in which he was reported to have said, “I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.” Nevertheless, scholars believe there must have again been misinterpretation, as the letter does not seem to contain any such quote.

Voltaire's first major philosophical work in his battle against 'l'infame" is the Dictionnaire philosophique, comprising articles on "Abraham", "Genesis", "Church Council" histories or a short history of "Christianity", exposing the all too human origins of many dogmas and beliefs, as well as the all too often inhuman behavior of religious and political institutions, in shedding blood over the quarrels of competing sects.

Amongst other targets, Voltaire criticized France's colonial policy in North America, dismissing the vast territory of New France as "a few acres of snow" ("quelques arpents de neige").

Letters

Voltaire also engaged in an enormous amount of private correspondence during his life, totaling over 20,000 letters. Theodore Besterman's collected edition of these letters, completed only in 1964, fills 102 volumes.One historian called the letters "a feast not only of wit and eloquence but of warm friendship, humane feeling, and incisive thought."

Philosophy

Religion

Like many other key figures during the European Enlightenment, Voltaire considered himself a deist. He did not believe that absolute faith, based upon any particular or singular religious text or tradition of revelation, was needed to believe in God. In fact, Voltaire's focus was instead on the idea of a universe based on reason and a respect for nature reflected the contemporary pantheism.

He wrote, "What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason."

In terms of religious texts, Voltaire's opinion of the Bible was mixed. This did not hinder his religious practice, however, though it did gain him somewhat of a bad reputation in the Catholic Church. It may be noted that Voltaire was indeed seen as somewhat of a nuisance to many Catholics. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote to his father the year of Voltaire's death, saying, "The arch-scoundrel Voltaire has finally kicked the bucket...."

Contradictory views of Islam and its prophet, Muhammad, can be found in Voltaire's writings. In a letter recommending his play Fanaticism, or Mahomet to Pope Benedict XIV, Voltaire described the founder of Islam as "the founder of a false and barbarous sect" and "a false prophet." Elsewhere, however, his views were more favourable. In Essai sur les Moeurs et l'Esprit des Nations, he described Muhammad as the founder of "a wise, severe, chaste, and humane religion", and also said "The legislator of the Muslims, a terrible and powerful man, established his dogmas with his valor and arms; yet, his religion became benign and tolerant."

From translated works on Confucianism and Legalism, Voltaire drew on Chinese concepts of politics and philosophy (which were based on rational principles), to look critically at European organized religion and hereditary aristocracy.

There is an apocryphal story that his home at Ferney was purchased by the Geneva Bible Society and used for printing Bibles, but this appears to be due to a misunderstanding of the 1849 annual report of the American Bible Society. Voltaire's chateau is now owned and administered by the French Ministry of Culture.

Freemasonry

Voltaire was initiated into Freemasonry one month before his death. On April 4, 1778 Voltaire accompanied Benjamin Franklin into Loge des Neuf Soeurs in Paris, France and became an Entered Apprentice Freemason, perhaps only to please Franklin. Both being deists and lovers of reason, Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin became close friends over time. As noted philosophers, they were included in the intellectual circles of their day and contributed to the Intellectual Enlightenment. Though both men represented two different worlds of thought, their friendship attested to the consanguinity of a common conclusion.

Legacy

Voltaire perceived the French bourgeoisie to be too small and ineffective, the aristocracy to be parasitic and corrupt, the commoners as ignorant and superstitious, and the church as a static and oppressive force useful only as a counterbalance since its "religious tax" or the tithe helped to create a strong backing for revolutionaries.Voltaire distrusted democracy, which he saw as propagating the idiocy of the masses. Voltaire long thought only an enlightened [[monarch] could bring about change, given the social structures of the time and the extremely high rates of illiteracy, and that it was in the king's rational interest to improve the education and welfare of his subjects. But his disappointments and disillusions with Frederick II changed his philosophy somewhat, and soon gave birth to one of his most enduring works, his novella, Candide, ou l'Optimisme (Candide, or Optimism, 1759), which ends with a new conclusion: "It is up to us to cultivate our garden". His most polemical and ferocious attacks on intolerance and religious persecutions indeed began to appear a few years later. Candide was also subject to censorship and Voltaire jokingly claimed the actual author was a certain "Demad" in a letter, where he reaffirmed the main polemical stances of the text.

Voltaire is also known for many memorable aphorisms, such as: "Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer" ("If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him"), contained in a verse epistle from 1768, addressed to the anonymous author of a controversial work, The Three Impostors. But far from being the cynical remark it is often taken for, it was meant as a retort to the atheistic clique of d'Holbach, Grimm, and others.

Voltaire is remembered and honored in France as a courageous polemicist who indefatigably fought for civil rights the right to a fair trial and freedom of religion and who denounced the hypocrisies and injustices of the ancien régime. The ancien régime involved an unfair balance of power and taxes between the First Estate (the clergy), the Second Estate (the nobles), and the Third Estate (the commoners and middle class, who were burdened with most of the taxes).

Voltaire has had his detractors among his later colleagues. The Scottish Victorian writer Thomas Carlyle argued that, while Voltaire was unsurpassed in literary form, not even the most elaborate of his works were of much value for matter and that he never uttered an original idea of his own. Nietzsche, however, called Carlyle an "insipid muddlehead" who failed to free himself from the very petty-mindedness he professed to condemn -->

While he often used China, Siammarker and Japan as examples of brilliant non-European civilizations and harshly criticized slavery, he often said that the ancient Jews were "an ignorant and barbarous people", but also that most of the ancient peoples were as well.

The town of Ferneymarker, where Voltaire lived out the last 20 years of his life, is now named Ferney-Voltairemarker in honor of its most famous resident. His château is a museum.

Voltaire's library is preserved intact in the National Library of Russiamarker at St. Petersburgmarker, Russia.

In Zurich 1916, the theater and performance group who would become the early avant-garde movement Dada named their theater The Cabaret Voltaire. A late-20th-century industrial music group then named themselves after the theater.

A character based on Voltaire plays an important role in The Age of Unreason, a series of four alternate history novels written by American science fiction and fantasy author Gregory Keyes.

Voltaire was also known to have been an advocate for coffee, as he was purported to have drank the beverage at least 30 times per day. People rumor that this might have been the source of his creativity and wit, due to the amount of caffeine acting as a mental stimulant.

Bibliography

Major works



Plays

Voltaire wrote between fifty and sixty plays, including a few unfinished ones. Among them are these:

Historical

  • History of Charles XII, King of Sweden (1731)
  • The Age of Louis XIV (1751)
  • The Age of Louis XV (1746 - 1752)
  • Annals of the Empire - Charlemagne, A.D. 742 - Henry VII 1313, Vol. I (1754)
  • Annals of the Empire - Louis of Bavaria, 1315 to Ferdinand II 1631 Vol. II (1754)
  • ' Essay on the Manners of Nations (or 'Universal History') (1756)
  • History of the Russian Empire Under Peter the Great (Vol. I 1759; Vol. II 1763)


Chronology

See also



Notes

  1. Wright, p 505.
  2. and "Voltaire's Grin" in New York Review of Books, November 30, 1995, pp. 49-55
  3. - "The appendixes offer even more: a listing of Voltaire's and Daniel Defoe's numerous pseudonyms (178 and 198, respectively)..."
  4. See also Will and Ariel Durant, The Age of Voltaire, Simon & Schuster (196 ) page 392[1]
  5. According to poet Richard Armour, Voltaire's friendship with Frederick William existed because "Frederick considered Voltaire to be immensely clever and so did Voltaire."
  6. The Scottish diarist Boswell recorded their conversations in 1764, which are published in Boswell and the Grand Tour.
  7. Norman Davies, Europe: A history p. 687
  8. Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 5th ed, 1954; "Cornu" article
  9. Voltaire and Rousseau, Their Tombs in the Pantheon Opened and Their Bones Exposed, New York Times, January 8, 1898
  10. Charles Wirz, archivist at The Voltaire Institute and Museum in Geneva, recalled in 1994, that Hall, placed wrongly, between speech marks this quotation in two works devoted to Voltaire, recognising expressly the quotation in question was not one, in a letter of May 9, 1939, which was published in 1943 in volume LVIII under the title "Voltaire never said it" (pp.534-5) of the review "Modern language notes", Johns Hopkins Press, 1943, Baltimore. An extract from the letter: 'The phrase "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" which you have found in my book "Voltaire in His Letters" is my own expression and should not have been put in inverted commas. Please accept my apologies for having, quite unintentionally, misled you into thinking I was quoting a sentence used by Voltaire (or anyone else but myself).' "The words "my own" were underlined personally by Hall in her letter. To believe certain commentators - Norbert Guterman, A Book of French Quotations, 1963 - Hall was referencing back to a Voltaire letter of February 6, 1770 to an abbot le Riche where Voltaire said "Reverend, I hate what you write, but I will give my life so that you can continue to write." The problem is that, if you consult the letter itself, the sentence there does not appear, nor even the idea: A M LE RICHE A AMIENS. 6 February. You left, Sir, des Welches for des Welches. You will find everywhere barbarians obstinate. The number of wise will always be small. It is true...it has increased; but it is nothing in comparison with the stupid ones; and, by misfortune, one says that God is always for the big battalions. It is necessary that the decent people stick together and stay under cover. There are no means that their small troop could tackle the party of the fanatics in open country. I was very sick, I was near death every winter; this is the reason, Sir, why I have answered you so late. I am not less touched by it than your memory. Continue to me your friendship; it comforts me my evils and stupidities of the human genre. Receive my assurances, etc. Voltaire, however, did not hesitate to wish censure against slander and personal libels. Here is what he writes in his “Atheism” article in the Dictionnaire philosophique: Aristophanes (this man that the commentators admire because he was Greek, not thinking that Socrates was Greek also), Aristophanes was the first who accustomed the Athenians to consider Socrates an atheist. ... The tanners, the shoemakers and the dressmakers of Athens applauded a joke in which one represented Socrates raised in the air in a basket, announcing there was God, and praising himself to have stolen a coat by teaching philosophy. A whole people, whose bad government authorized such infamous licences, deserved well what it got, to become the slave of the Romans, and today of the Turks.
  11. Will and Ariel Durant, Rousseau and Revolution (1967), page 138
  12. Voltaire. W. Dugdale, A Philosophical Dictionary ver 2, 1843, Page 473 sec 1. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
  13. Voltaire Letter to Benedict XIV written in Paris on August 17, 1745 AD Your holiness will pardon the liberty taken by one of the lowest of the faithful, though a zealous admirer of virtue, of submitting to the head of the true religion this performance, written in opposition to the founder of a false and barbarous sect. To whom could I with more propriety inscribe a satire on the cruelty and errors of a false prophet, than to the vicar and representative of a God of truth and mercy? Your holiness will therefore give me leave to lay at your feet both the piece and the author of it, and humbly to request your protection of the one, and your benediction upon the other; in hopes of which, with the profoundest reverence, I kiss your sacred feet.
  14. , Vol. I: Tome XI: Chap. VII "De l’Alcoran, et de la loi musulmane."
  15. 2.18 MiB
  16. "Benjamin Franklin...urged Voltaire to become a freemason; and Voltaire agreed, perhaps only to please Franklin. See also: and
  17. See also:
  18. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2005/0506.koerner.html
  19. This is a translation of a famous Chinese play Orphan of Zhao about the revenge of the orphan of the clan of Zhao on his enemies who killed almost every member of his clan. This play was based on an actual historical event in the Spring-Autumn period of Chinese history. Voltaire's version was translated by Arthur Murphy as The Orphan of China in 1759.


References

  • Muller, Jerry Z., 2002. The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Western Thought. Anchor Books.
  • Pearson, Roger, 2005. Voltaire Almighty: a life in pursuit of freedom. Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781582346304.
  • Wright, Charles Henry Conrad, A History of French Literature, Oxford University Press, American branch, 1912.


External links




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