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from me, twenty-five Louis d'ors. To do good is enjoyment: then let us enjoy ourselves."-On another occasion, when the numerous creditors of M. D'Estaing had levied an execution on his goods and lands, Voltaire, who was also a creditor, refused to join with them in their harsh proceeding, but he paid them their demands, and visited M. D'Estaing, who had considered himself as a ruined man: "You are, (said Voltaire,) and shall always be, master here; you have now but one creditor, and he entreats you to continue to enjoy your property in peace. Such conduct naturally produced on the part of D'Estaing an attachment to his benefactor, which ended but with his existence. The biographer, indeed, persists in representing Voltaire (notwithstanding that the public opinion is otherwise) as a generous character, and one who practised his generosity with elegance and grace; considering the manner in which an obligation was to be conferred as equally essential, in some instances, with the benefit itself.-A young, officer had passed several days with him at Ferney; while want of money alone prevented him from joining his regiment. Voltaire, suspecting his embarrassment, said to him: "You are returning to your regiment, permit one of my horses, which I wish to have trained, to accompany you ;" and, putting a purse into his hand, he added, "I request you to take care of him on his journey."
Such acts of benevolence, generosity, and good-will, it is pleasant to record. In the present instance, they compensate, in some measure, for the malignity which seems to have formed a part of the character of this singular man: though, in the course of a long life, as his biographer asserts, he was not guilty of a single act of premeditated severity or injustice.
Some curious and entertaining particulars of his attachment to Emilie de Bréteuil are here recorded. They lived together for nearly twenty years; and, though they often quarrelled, they were as constantly reconciled; for habit and affection rendered their mutual society absolutely necessary to their existence. The lady, who was fond both of study and of fame, forgave the philosopher his violent and tremendous fits of anger; and he, in return, overlooked her caprices and her numerous infidelitics. Though she was attached to literary pursuits, they constituted in her only a secondary passion; the love of gallantry and of play had dominion over her; and the inimitable French wit was frequently the dupe of the one, and a sufferer in his pecuniary concerns by the other. The celebrated Clairaut, who assisted her in her commentary on Newton, was admitted to an intimacy with her, which contributed more to the enjoyment than to the reputation of his life.-The grief of Voltaire, on the loss of his mistress, who died suddenly after a APP. REV. VOL. XXIX. O
lying-in, was violent, yet lasting and sincere; and he was recovered only by the perusal of some letters which his secretary gave to him, and by which it appeared that her affection for him was not so ardent as he had imagined; a mortifying, but at the same time a salutary, discovery!
At Ferney, where he past the last twenty years of his life, and where he employed his large fortune in improving a barren country, Voltaire was visited by foreigners of all nations, and of all ranks. Artists, wits, philosophers, and princes, all came to see him his house was constantly filled with strangers, whom sometimes he avoided seeing, when he could do so with propriety; and this he did to prevent that loss of time which such interruptions occasioned. Guibert, the author of a valuable work on tactics, had remained at Ferney three days without having gained an interview with its possessor, then left the place, and addressed to him a scrap of libertine poetry, which we shall neither translate nor copy. The wit and profaneness of the verses, however, so recommended him to Voltaire, that he immediately sent for Guibert, treated him with distinguished kindness, and kept him for several days a guest at Ferney.
In his treatment of his visitors, Voltaire was altogether a courtier, and quite a man of the world. Though he was denied to some, yet to well-known or well-recommended characters he was ever ready to shew the hospitality of his house. He dressed to receive such guests at the entrance of his castle; and, instead of listening to the praises which they were always willing to bestow on him, he conversed with them on the eminence of their families, and the meritorious actions of their ancestors. I have heard (says the author) M. de Croi declare that, during the whole time that he passed with him, Voltaire talked on the subject of his (de Croi's) progenitors, retailing those anecdotes which were most honourable to their characters, and which were little known: " but what surprised me most (said M. de Croi) was the animation with which he conversed, and the air of gaiety and politeness which distinguished all that he said."
By such arts, and by a constant appeal to the most uniform and invariable principle in human nature,-self-love,-Voltaire gained the good-will and admiration of the vain and interested part of mankind: but such conduct appears rather to be the suggestion of finesse, than the result of benevolent feelings.
The following anecdote of Ganganelli, afterward Pope Clement the XIVth, is curious and amusing. The Baron of Gleikin, in his way to Italy, passed by Ferney, and inquired of Voltaire what he should say from him to the Pope ?" His
Holiness (replied the philosopher) favours me with presents of medals, and of indulgencies, and even sends me his blessing but I would rather that Ganganelli would send me the ears of the Grand Inquisitor."-The Baron delivered the message:"Tell him," replied Clement nobly, "that, as long as Ganganelli is Pope, this said Inquisitor shall have neither ears nor eyes."-Voltaire's conversation is represented by the author as abounding equally with his writings in moral and political truths; and he says, it was impossible to be in his company without perceiving the man of genius, and of most extensive literature; that his memory supplied him with a large store of facts, of poetry, and of anecdote; and that, in drawing from this vast fund, he introduced only what was calculated to please and instruct. In him, says the writer, we were always sure of finding the most agreeable mixture of pleasantry, of useful observation, of happy allusion, and of interesting dis
Such is the pleasing portrait drawn of this universal genius by a friend and enthusiastic admirer, who saw nothing but transcendent excellence in his writings; and who attributed all his actions, even the most exceptionable, to pure and virtuous motives. Such accounts, however, proceeding from so partial a pen, must not be implicitly trusted: the facts which are communicated may in general be believed: but the inferences drawn from them, and the general representations of character, must be received with caution.
Towards the end of the year 1770, D'Alembert left Paris with an intention of visiting Italy, on account of his health. He made Ferney in his way, and there he remained a month. "During the whole time," said he, on his return, "I have been in a state of perfect admiration; that which constantly surprised me in Voltaire's conversation was the manner, at once easy and scientific, with which he discussed the most difficult and obscure topics. I set out for Italy in search of health; I found it at Ferney. The pleasure of living and conversing with the first philosopher of the age has deprived me of my wish of visiting Rome, to see the first magician in Europe." In these terms, D'Alembert always spoke of the Pope.
Voltaire was uneasy and disconcerted in large companies, which, he used to say, were collected only to see the rhinoceros In small and select parties, he enjoyed himself; with a Rieux, a Daminaville, a D'Alembert, and his niece, he would for hours together taik on philosophical subjects. The constant apprehension with which he was haunted during the latter years of his life, his biographer attributes to his fear of the clergy; they, to his 002 dread
dread of a future state of existence. This alarm, in whatever cause it originated, imbittered his comforts, and destroyed his pleasures. It is certain that he received a number of anonymous letters, loading him with opprobrious names, and threatening him with severe and speedy vengeance: he believed that these letters came from the ecclesiastics in his neighbourhood; some of whom, he thought, might easily be induced to attempt his life, under the hope that they were performing an acceptable service to their Maker in delivering the world from a man whose time was occupied, and whose abilities were exerted, in dishonouring the objects of their worship. It is not impossible, however, that Voltaire might avow this to be the cause of his perpetual solicitude, while the real foundation of his anxiety might be concealed.
The tender, gentle, and affectionate friendship which subsisted between this philosopher and Renée de Varicourt, (Bells et Bonne, Jis pourtrayed in the most pleasing colours; the amiable assiduity of a beautiful young woman of sixteen, and the pa rental kindness and gratitude of an infirm old man of fourscore, are finely contrasted. In her presence, Voltaire knew no un easy passions, and seemed to be relieved from his sense of growing infirmity and actual pain. She was his guardian angel, he her tutelary divinity.-Coffee, which exhilarates without intoxicating the spirits, was his usual beverage; and this she constantly administered.-" Woman," he would often say on these occasions, "is the most valuable and enchanting present that man has received from the hands of nature. In our youth she contributes to our most exquisite pleasures; and in old age she is essential to our comfort, and our health."-When, in paying her morning compliments, Mademoiselle de V. would salute him, he expressed his wonder that she could place her rosy countenance against his pallid and shrivelled skin, or, as he termed it, against a death's head; and sometimes he would exclaim, "this is life and death embracing each other." In no period, and in no connection of life, does Voltaire appear so blameless and so amiable, as in his attachment and kindness to this adopted child. His age, if not her tender youth, removes all idea of impure affection; and we observe in their intimacy nothing but mutual gratitude and good opinion, softened and increased by the difference of sex.
We have now made a sufficient selection of interesting passages from this part of the work: but we cannot conclude the article, without acknowleging that we have derived great, though not unmixed, pleasure from the perusal of the volume. Voltaire must always be considered as a man of various and riginal genius, and, as such, entitled to the high admiration
of mankind: but his prófaneness, and his indecent sarcasms
ART. XII. Voyage de deux François, &c. i. e. Travels of two
Most of the courts which the travellers visited are particularly described. That of Saxony is pourtrayed in the following manner:
The court of Dresden was formerly very brilliant ; carousals, tournaments, and feasts of every sort succeeded each other with little interruption; now every thing is changed. Several motives have concurred to make the reigning Elector pursue a line of conduct entirely opposite to that of his predecessors. Saxony having been exhausted by a long war, and enormous debts having been contracted for the discharge of repeated contributions, the prince found himself under the necessity of embracing a system of the most rigorous economy. Princes, however, being more exposed to public observation than other men, must expect to see unfavourable constructions put on their purest intentions; and thus it has fared with the Elector, whose laudable economy is termed avarice and niggardliness. One of his