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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 qually 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 discussion.
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 forhoursto. gether talk 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 0 0 2
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 accepte able 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, ( Belle et Bonne, Jis pourtrayed in the most pleasing colours; the amiable assiduity of a beautiful young woinan of sixteen, and the parental kindness and gratitude of an infirm old man of fourscore, are finely contrasted. In her presence, Voltaire knew no uneasy passions, and seemed to be relieved from his sense of growing infirinity 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 na. ture. 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 exclaimi, “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. l'oltaire must always be considered as a man of various and Sriginal genius, and, as such, entitled to the high admiration
of mankind : but his profaneness, and his indecent sarcasms on religion, have drawn on him severe and merited reprehension. As we disapprove the use of such weapons in the hands of Voltaire, so we cannot pass without censure the many expressions of regard and approbation bestowed, by his biographer, on his attempts to undermine the religion of Europe. The abilities of this writer are so respectable, as exhi. bited in the work before us, that we regret,- what appears to : be his pride and his boast, - the necessity of classing hin among the afidel pbilosophes.
R. Art. XII. Voyage de deux François, &c. i.e. Travels of two
Frenchmen through Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, and Poland, in 1790–1792. 8vo. Five Vols. Paris. A MONG the miscellaneous writers whom France has pro51 duced since the revolution in that country, few are conspicuous for solidity of reasoning, for accuracy of information, or for excellency of composition. Yet the talent of amusing, which the French authors are universally allowed to possess in a peculiar degree, continues to operate as a powerful attraction, even in their latest literary performances. Wherever the subject offers variety, the quick discernment of a Frenchman is sure of selecting what is of general interest. These observations we have found confirmed by the publication be. fore us. Though intended for the use of travellers rather than for the entertainment of general readers, the latter will be plcased with the perusal of a considerable part of it, especially the third and fourth volumes. The materials contained in the work were collected by two persons, travelling together : but only one of them drew up the account which is the subject of this article, and we understand that he is M. DE BEAUJOLIN.
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 everything 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
brothers has no more than 120,000 livres per annum ; the other only 72,000. These sums are indeed very moderate ; but we believe that an excess on the other side would be far more blameworthy. Those two princes contract few if any debts; while the brothers of Lewis XVI., with an income of upwards of 3,000,coo of livres each, greatly outran their income. The pay of the ministers of state in Saxony is also very moderate; the premier not having above 4500 rix dollars salaıy.
· The Saxon ducats are extremely rare. The Elector, it is pretended, hoards them; and when once they get into his possession, they never again enter into circulation. Whatever degree of credit this assertion may merit, we shall soon find a very excusable motive for his conduct. This prince has an only daughter; and his domi. *nions, after his demise, devolve to his brother. In case the Elector should die before he has settled her for life, his intention apparently is to leave her an independent fortune, which can only be the result of his frugality. Let us recollect Lewis XV., who, towards the close of his life, was also accused of amassing treasures : that charge was true: but he left 16,000,000 to his daughters. Without such a provision, what would have been their situation at this time?
The Elector is a man of much information. He knows several languages, is very fond of mineralogy, and especially of music. These circumstances will be evident on only visiting his apartments. He may, however, be charged with not encouraging the arts, and accused of withholding from men of merit that protection to which they are entitled from an enlightened prince. His system is neither to commend nor to find fault : the man of talents and he who is destitute of abilities receive the same treatment from him. This conduct of the sovereign must destroy all emulation; and it scens unaccountable in a prince whose attainments distinguish him from the common class.
• The Elector has a predilection for all that relates to military affairs; and he often takes the command in the encampments which are annually formed : but, wh n he happens to commit any mistake, it has been remarked that matters are previously arranged in such a manner, as to leave a possibility for casting the blame of it on some officer. Self-love insinuates itself every where.?
Mineralogy is one of those branches of science which our two travellers seem to have kept constantly in view. Of the famous mines at Freyberg in Saxony, they have furnished a tolerable description.
The account of Berlin is introduced by the following ob. servation :
If only the extent of the town, the beauty of the streets, and the outside of the houses, were to be considered, Berlin would be the most beautiful city of Europe. Manheim, Copenhagen, and Petersburgh have indeed large streets at right angles: but no where else do we meet with buildings of such striking exterior; nor with such private houses as would make a figure by the sides of the palace of Rome. From the place called Lerondel to the gate of Oranieu
burs; burg, there is a most noble prospect. All these advantages, however, are counterbalanced in part by great inconveniences; no town is dirtier, worse paved, and in every respect les3 calculated for footpassengers ;-except indeed Warsaw.'
Hamburgh, we are told, makes an appearance ill suited to its wealth. It is very uncleanly, and almost continually damp. The finest establishment in the city is generally supposed to be the Orphan-house. Six hundred children are maintained in it. The boys are taught to read, write, and to cypher, with a little drawing; the girls are instructed in reading, writing, spinning, needlework, and embroidery. If there be any thing exc: ptionable in this institution, it is that the orphans, who are brcught up in it, have too much care taken of them, considering the class and condition for which they are designed ; and are too well educated for the sphere in which they are to move. From this charity, most of the Hambro' maid-servants are taken, who in general behave well; the boys are dispersed among the different manufactures. This foundation is entirely supported by voluntary contributions from the inhabitants.
Though, on a moderate calculation, there are at Hamburgh 12,000 indigent persons, no mendicants appear in the public streets. The senate furnishes them with employment, and compels them to work in houses appropriated for that purpose.--No estimate can be formed of the exports of Hamburgh, the inhabitants observing the most inviolable secrecy on this head. The French consuls employed there since 1743 have in vain used their endeavours to discover it. A circumstance still more surprising is, that no person can say why this is kept a secret.
The present king of Denmark has not, for several years past, taken any part in the administration of the state; and his son · discharges all the duties of royalty. The signature of the king, however, is necessary to all edicts and regulations ; which is a sort of restraint put by the ministers on the inclinations of a young prince, whom they fear to see too soon their absolute master. The prince is much attached to military affairs, and his manners and conduct are marked by his prevailing inclination. He is, on the whole, more feared than beloved, though allowed by all to possess a feeling heart and a sound understanding. He is a man of business, and, notwithstanding his youth, free from dissipation. Every indication affords ground for believing that he will be worthy of the throne for which he is designed.--The Danish princesses have very engaging persons, and are exceedingly polite. One of them, who is married to the prince of Augustenburg, iş deemed a model of female grace and perfection.