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ftill lefs reason than any other people in the world, to give occafion; for we know not any of these who are fond of perfecution, in hopes of making a merit with heaven of their fufferings; nor have any of them fo high an opinion of faith, as to pretend that the future happiness of mankind depends on their belief of any particular tenets +. An Enthufiaft, who should be firmly perfuaded that mankind were fallen into errours that would involve them in eternal perdition, would have at least an excufeable motive for endeavouring at all hazards to convert them. And if, added to this perfuafion, he were fanatical enough to think himself honoured by perfecution, or that he had a call from above to the holy work of reformation; it were not to be wondered at, if he fhould break through all bounds of civil and political restraint, in obedience to his fuppofed call, and to fave his fellow-creatures from everlasting damnation. But what motive, what call, hath a philofopher to fly indecently in the face of civil institutions, merely to acquaint the world of its ignorance and prejudices? Is it a zeal for truth? Whence this zeal? Thofe who love the truth, merely for its own fake, might well content themfelves with the fingular pleasure of enjoying and contemplating its beauty, without communicating the knowlege of it to others. Their zeal arifes therefore, from fome other motive, which respects the rest of mankind; and this must either be Philanthropy or Vanity.
If the happiness of mankind, even in this life, immediately depended on the belief or knowlege of the truth, the philan-. thropist would have a noble and animating motive for detecting falfehood and combating errour: but philofophers know too well that, with regard to individuals, knowlege doth by no means confer a proportionable degree of happiness on the poffeffor. It is indeed admitted that political happiness and the comparative felicity of different ages, are intimately connected with the developement of truth, or the progrefs and improvement of Science. At the fame time, alfo, it must be acknowleged that the investigation of truth, is the most noble task, in which human genius can be employed. It seems to us, nevertheless,
It is true that Kings, and Secretaries of State, generally give themfelves as little trouble as even philofophers, about the falvation of fouls. They care but little whether a people be damned or not in the next world, if they do but bleed plentifully or fubmit chearfully to be taxed in this. Hiftory affords us, indeed, fome inftances of pious Princes who had the fouls, as well as the bodies, of their subjects at heart; the fame hiftories will inform us, however, that the fatal efforts of their zeal have generally ended in the lofs of half those fubjects, by massacre or expatriation.
that truth ought no more to be propagated than fuppreffed by
We have thought ourfelves under the neceffity of being thus explicit, with regard to the publication of the present work; for though we cannot approve of the methods which have been taken indifcriminately to fupprefs it, we are forry, for the credit of the reputed Author, to confess that a confiderable part of it ought to be committed to the flames. Exceptionable, indeed, as it is on a religious account, we could wish the cenfure it deferves even in this refpect, the feverest we are under the neceffity of paffing on it. But there are fome paffages, particularly the whole article entitled amour nommé Socratique, that we conceive could only come from the pen of one of the most inconfiderate, diffolute and abandoned of mankind. Nothing can be more infamous than what is there advanced in palliation of the most deteftable of all crimes; nor can any thing be more false in fact than the imputing a vice to the natural paffions of youth and innocence, which is hardly ever practised but
+ Not that we fuppofe falfehood or errour can offer, in general, any means for governing mankind fuperiour to those of truth. We are no advocates for falutary prejudices, nor do we think it ever can be wrong to investigate truth and expofe falfehood: there may be errours, however, committed in the manner of doing this, almoft as fatal to fociety for a time, as thofe which are intended to be removed. Every prejudice, like every malady, is certainly an evil; but there are fome maladies fo habitual and deeply rooted, that the milder means only should be employed to remove them, unless we would endanger the conftitution by caufing a worse evil than we mean to cure,
by wretches already debilitated by exceffive debauchery, or by thofe in whom Nature never implanted the fmalleft germe of love or delicacy. Our courts of juftice are fufficiently convinced, by hateful experience, that, if very young perfons are ever made acceffory to this horrid fpecies of guilt, the principal, the feducer, is ever fome hypocritical monfter, old enough to be hackneyed in the ways of vice and iniquity.
We hope Mr. de Voltaire was not the Author of this article; as we doubt not but those into whofe hands this work may fall, will cancel the pages containing it, with a just detestation of the Writer 1.
As to the rest of the book, it confifts of a mifcellaneous collection of the most common and striking arguments made use of by Sceptics, in their attacks on revelation; intermixed with thofe adopted by modern philofophers in combating fanaticism, or enthufiafm, and in detecting the errours and abfurdities of ignorance, prejudice and fuperftition. We fhall felect a few of the latter articles; as they are written in that agreeable and feductive style and manner, which plainly indicate, that if Mr. de Voltaire did not write the whole, he has had the principal fhare in this heterogeneous compound.
CATECHISME DU JARDINIER. The Gardener's Catechism, or a Dialogue between Bafhaw Tuetan, and Karpos the Gardener.
Tutan. You fell your fruit, friend Karpos, very dear; however it is pretty good.-Pray what religion do you profefs now? Karpos. Why, faith, my lord Bafhaw, I can't very well tell When our little ifland belonged to the Greeks, I remember I was ordered to fay that Agion pneuma proceeded only from Tou patrou. I was told to pray to God, ftanding bolt upright, with my arms across; and was prohibited eating milk in lent. When the Venetians came, our new Italian curate ordered me to fay that Agion pneuma proceeded both from Tou patrou and
The applaufes we have fo frequently beftowed on M. de Voltaire, have been paid him, for the most part, as the tribute due to his fuperior talents. If we have at any time commended the defign of his writings, it was when we conceived thofe talents exerted in the defence of truth and liberty. Thofe, who have thought proper to cenfure us on this account, know us but little, if they think we make no diftinction between the writings of an advocate for religious liberty, and thofe of an irreligious Libertine. At the fame time, it must be obferved, that we judge of the defign of a work by the contents of it, and not from the private fentiments or character the world may have imputed to its author.
Tou you, permitting me to eat milk, and making me pray on my knees. On the return of the Greeks, and their expelling the Venetians, I was obliged again to renounce Tou you and milkporridge. You have at length expelled the Greeks, and I hear you cry out as loud as you can Allah illa Allah! For my part, I no longer know what I am; but I love God with all my heart, and fell my fruit very reasonably.
Tutan. You have fome fine figs there.
Karpos. At your service, my lord.
Tutan. They fay, you have a fine daughter too.
Karpos. Yes, my lord Bafhaw, but the is not at your service.
Karpos. Because I am an honeft man; I may fell my figs if I please; but I must not fell my daughter.
Tuetan. And pray by what law are you forbidden not to fell one kind of fruit as well as another?
Karpos. By the law of all honeft Gardeners. The honour of my daughter is not my property, but hers. It is not, with us, a marketable commodity.
Tucan. You are then difloyal to your Bafhaw.
Karpos. Not at all. I am his faithful fervant in every thing that is juft, fo long as he continues my master.
Tuetan. And fo, if your Greek patriarch fhould form a plot against me, and should order you, in the name of Tou patrou and Tou you, to enter into it, you would not have devotion enough to turn traitor? Ha!
Karpos. Not I.
Tuetan. And, pray, why fhould you refuse to obey your patriarch on fuch an occafion?
Karpos. Because I have taken an oath of allegiance to you, as my Bafhaw; and I know that Tou patrou does not command any one to engage in plots and confpiracies.
Tutan. I am glad of that, at leaft. But, what if the Greeks fhould retake the ifle, and expel your Bafhaw; would you be faithful to me still?
Karpos. What! when you are no longer my Bafhaw ? Tutan. What then will become of your oath of allegiance ?. Karpos. Something like my figs; you will not be any more the better for it. Craving your honour's pardon, it is certain, that if you were now dead, I fhould owe you no allegiance.
Tután. The fuppofition is a little impolite; but however your conclufion is true.
Karpos. And would it not be the fame, my Lord, if you were expelled? for you would have a fucceffor to whom I must take a frefh oath of allegiance. Why fhould you require fidelity of me when it would be no longer of ufe to you? That would be jet
as if you could not eat my figs yourself, and yet you would prevent my felling them to any body elfe.
Tutan. You are a reasoner, I see, and have your principles
Karpos. Ay, fuch as they are. They are but few; but they ferve me; and perhaps if I had more they would only puzzle
Tulan. I fhould be curious to know your principles.
Karpos. They are, to be a good husband, a good father, a good neighbour, and a good Gardener. I go no farther, and hope, for the reft, that God will take every thing in good part, and have mercy on me.
Tutan. And do you think that he will fhew the fame mercy to me, who am Governour of this ifland of Samos?
Karpos. And, pray, how do you think I fhould know that? Is it for me to conjecture how God Almighty behaves to Bashaws? That's an affair, between you and him, which I don't intermeddle with in any shape. All that I believe of the matter is, that, if you are as honeft a Bashaw as I am a Gardener, God will be very good to you.
Tuetan. By Mahomet, I like this idolater very well! Farewel, friend, Allah be your protection.
Karpos. Thank ye, my Lord Bafhaw! God have mercy upon
LIBERTE DE PENSER. Freedom of Sentiment.
In the year 1707, about the time at which the English gained the battle of Saragoffa, protected Portugal, and gave to Spain a King, my Lord Valiant, a general officer, who had been wounded in fight, had retired to Bareges for the benefit of the waters. The Count Medrofo, who had fallen from his horfe, behind the baggage-waggons, a league and a half from the field of battle, had repaired alfo to the fame place. The latter had been well acquainted with the Inquifition, on which account his Lordship entered one day, after dinner, into the following converfation with him.
L. Val. And fo, Count, you have been an officer in the Inquifition! You must have been engaged in a most villainous employment!
Med. Very true, my Lord, but as I had rather be their officer than their victim, I preferred the misfortune of burning my neighbour, to that of being roafted myself.
L. Val. What a horrible alternative! Your countrymen were an hundred times happier under the yoke of the Moors; who permitted you to indulge yourselves freely in fuperftition, and imperious as they were as conquerors, never dreamt of exercifing that ftrange prerogative of enflaving fouls.