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History is little else than a picture of human crimes and misfortunes.
L'Ingénu. Chap... (1767.) The first who was king was a fortunate soldier: Who serves his country well has no need of ancestors.a
Merope. Act i. Sc. 3. In the best of possible worlds the château of monseigneur the baron was the most beautiful of châteaux, and madame the best of possible baronesses.
Candide. Chap. i. In this country [England] it is well to kill from time to time an admiral to encourage the others.
Chap. xxiii. The superfluous, a very necessary thing.
Le Mondain. Line 21. Crush the infamous thing. Letter to d'Alembert, June 23, 1760.
There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times.
Letter to Cardinal de Bernis, April 23, 1761. The proper mean. Letter to Count d'Argental, Nov. 28, 1765.
It is said that God is always on the side of the heavi. est battalions."
Letter to M. le Riche, Feb. 6, 1770. Love truth, but pardon error.
Discours sur l'Homme. Discours 3.
MADAME DU DEFFAND. 1697-1784.
He [Voltaire] has invented history.5
In reply to the Cardinal de Polignac. 1 See Gibbon, page 430. 2 See Scott, page 494.
Borrowed from Lefranc de Pompignan's “Didon.” 3 See Cowper, page 424. 4 See Gibbon, page 430.
Bussy RABUTIN : Lettres, iv. 91. SÉVIGNE: Lettre à sa Fille, p. 202. TACITUS Historia, iv. 17. TERENCE : Phormio, i. 4. 26. 5 FOURNIER : L'Esprit dans l'Histoire, p. 191.
6 Voltaire writes to Madame du Deffand, January, 1764, that one of her bon-mots is quoted in the notes of “La Pucelle," canto 1 : “Il n'y a que le premier pas qui coûte."
JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU. 1712-1778.
Days of absence, sad and dreary,
Clothed in sorrow's dark array, –
Days of Absence
GESTA ROMANORUM.1 We read of a certain Roman emperor who built a magnificent palace. In digging the foundation, the workmen discovered a golden sarcophagus ornamented with three circlets, on which were inscribed, “I have expended; I have given ; I have kept; I have possessed; I do possess; I have lost; I am punished. What I formerly expended, I have; what I gave away, I have.” 2
Tale zri. See how the world rewards its votaries.
Tale xxxvi. If the end be well, all is well.4
Tale lrrii, Whatever you do, do wisely, and think of the consequences.
Tale cii. i The“Gesta Romanorum” is a collection of one hundred and eighty-one stories, first printed about 1473. The first English version appeared in 1824, translated by the Rev. C. Swan. (Bohn's Standard Library.)
2 Richard Gough, in the “Sepulchral Monuments of Great Britain,” gives this epitaph of Robert Byrkes, which is to be found in Doncaster Church, “new cut” upon his tomb in Roman capitals :
Howe: Howe : who is heare :
That I spent, that I had;
A. D. 1579. The following is the epitaph of Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire, according to Cleaveland's “Genealogical History of the Family of Courte. nay,” p. 142 :
What we gave, we have ;
What we left, we lost. 8 Ecce quomodo mundus suis servitoribus reddit mercedem (See how the world its veterans rewards. -- POPE: Moral Essays, epistle 1, line 243.
4 Si finis bonus est, totum bonum erit. — Probably the origin of the prov. erb, “All's well that ends well."
SEDAINE. – DE LIGNE.
VAUVENARGUES (MARQUIS OF). 1715–1747. Great thoughts come from the heart.1 Maxim cxxvii.
MICHEL JEAN SEDAINE. 1717-1797.
O Richard ! O my king!
Sung at the Dinner given to the French Soldiers
in the Opera Salon at Versailles, Oct. 1, 1789.
PRINCE DE LIGNE. 1735-1814. The congress of Vienna does not walk, but it dances.?
Who never spent the darksome hours
Wilhelm Meister. Book ii. Chap. xiii Know'st thou the land where the lemon-trees bloom, Where the gold orange glows in the deep thicket's gloom, Where a wind ever soft from the blue heaven blows, And the groves are of laurel and myrtle and rose ? ?
Book iii. Chap. i. Art is long, life short;4 judgment difficult, opportunity transient.
Book vii. Chap. ix. The sagacious reader who is capable of reading between these lines what does not stand written in them, but is nevertheless implied, will be able to form some conception. Autobiography. Book xviii. Truth and Beauty.
1 See Sidney, page 34.
2 One of the Prince de Ligne's speeches that will last forever. – Edin. burgh Review, July, 1890, p. 244. 8 See Byron, page 549.
4 See Chaucer, page
ROLAND. – BARÈRE. — SCHILLER. – DE L'ISLE.
MADAME ROLAND. 1754-1793.
O Liberty ! Liberty ! how many crimes are committed in thy name !!
BERTRAND BARÈRE. 1755-1841.
The tree of liberty only grows when watered by the blood of tyrants. Speech in the Convention Nationale, 1792.
It is only the dead who do not return.
Against stupidity the very gods
The Maid of Orleans. Act iii. Sc. 6.
Don Carlos. Act i. Sc. 6.
JOSEPH ROUGET DE L'ISLE. 1760
Ye sons of France, awake to glory!
Hark! hark! what myriads bid you rise!
The Marseilles Hymn.
The avenging sword unsheathe!
1 MACAULAY: Essay on Mirabeau.
2 See Scott, page 495.
There is another and a better world."
The Stranger. Act i. Sc. I
“ It is more than a crime; it is a political fault," words which I record, because they have been repeated and attributed to others.
Memoirs of Fouché. Death is an eternal sleep.
Inscription placed by his orders on the Gates
of the Cemeteries in 1794.
J. M. USTERI. 1763-1827.
Life let us cherish, while yet the taper glows,
Life let us cherish. 1 Translated by N. Schink, London, 1799.
2 Commonly quoted, " It is worse than a crime, – it is a blunder," and attributed to Talleyrand.