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Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary - The Original Classic Edition
This is a new and freshly published edition of this culturally important work by Voltaire, which is now, at last, again available to you.
Enjoy this classic work today. These selected paragraphs distill the contents and give you a quick look inside Voltaires Philosophical Dictionary:
And I, for having imitated him once, for having done with the most handsome young man in Lisbon what he did every day with impunity with the most idiotic strumpets of the court and the town, have to answer at the bar before licentiates each of whom would be at my feet if we were alone together in my closet; have to endure at the court the usher cutting off my hair which is the most beautiful in the world; and being shut up among nuns who have no common sense, deprived of my dowry and my marriage covenants, with all my property given to my coxcomb of a husband to help him seduce other women and to commit fresh adulteries.
...To these barbarities I reply that when the poor adulteress was presented by her accusers to the Master of the old and new law, He did not have her stoned; that on the contrary He reproached them with their injustice, that he laughed at them by writing on the ground with his finger, that he quoted the old Hebraic proverb-He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her; that then they all retired, the oldest fleeing first, because the older they were the more adulteries had they committed.
...The Gauls of the Seine and the Marne did not know at that time that Rome existed, and could not take it into their heads to pass Mount Cenis, as Hannibal did later, to go to steal the wardrobes of Roman senators who at that time for all furniture had a robe of poor grey stuff, ornamented with a band the colour of ox blood; two little pummels of ivory, or rather dogs bone, on the arms of a wooden chair; and in their kitchens a piece of rancid bacon.
...But to infer from that that the Gauls or Celts, conquered after by a few of Cæsars legions, and by a horde of Bourguignons, and lastly by a horde of Sicamores, under one Clodovic, had previously subjugated the whole world, and given their names and laws to Asia, seems to me to be very strange: the thing is not mathematically impossible, and if it be demonstrated, I give way; it would be very uncivil to refuse to the Velches what one accords to the Tartars.
...For, supposing even that an influx of barbarians had made us lose entirely all the arts even to the arts of writing and making bread; supposing, further, that for ten years past we had no bread, pens, ink and paper; the land which has been able to subsist for ten years without eating bread and without writing its thoughts, would[Pg 28] be able to pass a century, and a hundred thousand centuries without these aids.