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A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 8   By: (1694-1778)

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First Page:

A PHILOSOPHICAL DICTIONARY

VOLUME VIII

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 XII

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. VIII

ALLEGORICAL BUST OF VOLTAIRE frontispiece

THE INITIATE BANISHING THE PRIEST

JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU

JOHN CALVIN

[Illustration: Allegorical bust of Voltaire.]

VOLTAIRE

A PHILOSOPHICAL DICTIONARY.

IN TEN VOLUMES

VOL. VIII

MONEY PRIVILEGE

MONEY.

A word made use of to express gold. "Sir, will you lend me a hundred louis d'or?" "Sir, I would with alla my heart, but I have no money; I am out of ready money." The Italian will say to you: " Signore, non ha di danari " "I have no deniers."

Harpagon asks MaƮtre Jacques: "Wilt thou make a good entertainment?" "Yes, if you will give me plenty of money."

We continually inquire which of the countries of Europe is the richest in money? By that we mean, which is the people who circulate the most metals representative of objects of commerce? In the same manner we ask, which is the poorest? and thirty contending nations present themselves the Westphalian, Limousin, Basque, Tyrolese, Valois, Grison, Istrian, Scotch, and Irish, the Swiss of a small canton, and above all the subjects of the pope.

In deciding which has most, we hesitate at present between France, Spain, and Holland, which had none in 1600.

Formerly, in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, the province of the papal treasury had no doubt the most ready money, and therefore the greatest trade. How do you sell that? would be asked of a theological merchant, who replied, For as much as the people are fools enough to give me.

All Europe then sent its money to the Roman court, who gave in change consecrated beads, agnuses, indulgences plenary and limited, dispensations, confirmations, exemptions, benedictions, and even excommunications against those whom the subscriber chose, and who had not sufficient faith in the court of Rome.

The Venetians sold nothing of all this, but they traded with all the West by Alexandria, and it was through them only that we had pepper and cinnamon. The money which went not to the papal treasury came to them, excepting a little to the Tuscans and Genoese. All the other kingdoms of Europe were so poor in ready money that Charles VIII. was obliged to borrow the jewels of the duchess of Savoy and put them in pawn, to raise funds to conquer Naples, which he soon lost again. The Venetians supported stronger armies than his. A noble Venetian had more gold in his coffers, and more vessels of silver on his table, than the emperor Maximilian surnamed " Pochi danari. "

Things changed when the Portuguese traded with India as conquerors, and the Spaniards subjugated Mexico and Peru with six or seven hundred men. We know that then the commerce of Venice, and the other towns of Italy all fell to the ground. Philip II., the master of Spain, Portugal, the Low Countries, the Two Sicilies, and the Milanese, of fifteen hundred leagues of coast in Asia, and mines of gold and silver in America, was the only rich, and consequently the only powerful prince in Europe... Continue reading book >>


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