Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 4   By: (1694-1778)

Book cover

First Page:

A PHILOSOPHICAL DICTIONARY

VOLUME IV

By

VOLTAIRE

EDITION DE LA PACIFICATION

THE WORKS OF VOLTAIRE

A CONTEMPORARY VERSION

With Notes by Tobias Smollett, Revised and Modernized New Translations by William F. Fleming, and an Introduction by Oliver H.G. Leigh

A CRITIQUE AND BIOGRAPHY

BY

THE RT. HON. JOHN MORLEY

FORTY THREE VOLUMES

One hundred and sixty eight designs, comprising reproductions of rare old engravings, steel plates, photogravures, and curious fac similes

VOLUME VIII

E.R. DuMONT

PARIS LONDON NEW YORK CHICAGO

1901

The WORKS of VOLTAIRE

"Between two servants of Humanity, who appeared eighteen hundred years apart, there is a mysterious relation. Let us say it with a sentiment of profound respect: JESUS WEPT: VOLTAIRE SMILED. Of that divine tear and of that human smile is composed the sweetness of the present civilization."

VICTOR HUGO.

LIST OF PLATES VOL. IV

VOLTAIRE'S ARREST AT FRANKFORT Frontispiece

OLIVER CROMWELL

TIME MAKES TRUTH TRIUMPHANT

FRANCIS I. AND HIS SISTER

[Illustration: Voltaire's arrest at Frankfort.]

VOLTAIRE

A PHILOSOPHICAL DICTIONARY

IN TEN VOLUMES

VOL. IV.

COUNTRY FALSITY

COUNTRY.

SECTION I

According to our custom, we confine ourselves on this subject to the statement of a few queries which we cannot resolve. Has a Jew a country? If he is born at Coimbra, it is in the midst of a crowd of ignorant and absurd persons, who will dispute with him, and to whom he makes foolish answers, if he dare reply at all. He is surrounded by inquisitors, who would burn him if they knew that he declined to eat bacon, and all his wealth would belong to them. Is Coimbra his country? Can he exclaim, like the Horatii in Corneille:

Mourir pour la patrie est un si digne sort Qu'on briguerait en foule, une si belle mort.

So high his meed who for his country dies, Men should contend to gain the glorious prize.

He might as well exclaim, "fiddlestick!" Again! is Jerusalem his country? He has probably heard of his ancestors of old; that they had formerly inhabited a sterile and stony country, which is bordered by a horrible desert, of which little country the Turks are at present masters, but derive little or nothing from it. Jerusalem is, therefore, not his country. In short, he has no country: there is not a square foot of land on the globe which belongs to him.

The Gueber, more ancient, and a hundred times more respectable than the Jew, a slave of the Turks, the Persians, or the Great Mogul, can he regard as his country the fire altars which he raises in secret among the mountains? The Banian, the Armenian, who pass their lives in wandering through all the east, in the capacity of money brokers, can they exclaim, "My dear country, my dear country" who have no other country than their purses and their account books?

Among the nations of Europe, all those cut throats who let out their services to hire, and sell their blood to the first king who will purchase it have they a country? Not so much so as a bird of prey, who returns every evening to the hollow of the rock where its mother built its nest! The monks will they venture to say that they have a country? It is in heaven, they say. All in good time; but in this world I know nothing about one.

This expression, "my country," how sounds it from the mouth of a Greek, who, altogether ignorant of the previous existence of a Miltiades, an Agesilaus, only knows that he is the slave of a janissary, who is the slave of an aga, who is the slave of a pasha, who is the slave of a vizier, who is the slave of an individual whom we call, in Paris, the Grand Turk?

What, then, is country? Is it not, probably, a good piece of ground, in the midst of which the owner, residing in a well built and commodious house, may say: "This field which I cultivate, this house which I have built, is my own; I live under the protection of laws which no tyrant can infringe... Continue reading book >>


Book sections



eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books