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Every age has its pleasures, its style of wit, and its own ways.
The Art of Poetry. Canto iii. Line 374. He [Molière] pleases all the world, but cannot please himself.
Satire 2. “There, take,” says Justice, “take ye each a shell; We thrive at Westminster on fools like
you. ’T was a fat oyster ! live in peace, - adieu.” 1 Epitre ü.
ALAIN RENÉ LE SAGE. 1668–1747. It may be said that his wit shines at the
of his memory.
Gil Blas. Book in. Chap. zi. I wish you all sorts of prosperity with a little more taste.
Book vii. Chap. ir. Isocrates was in the right to insinuate, in his elegant Greek expression, that what is got over the Devil's back is spent under his belly.8
Book rüüi. Chap. iz. Facts are stubborn things.*
Book 2. Chap. i. Plain as a pike-staff.”
Book zii. Chap. ciii.
FRANCIS M. VOLTAIRE. 1694-1778. If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him. 8
Epître à l'Auteur du Livre des Trois Imposteurs. czi. The king [Frederic] has sent me some of his dirty linen to wash; I will wash yours another time."
Reply to General Manstein. Men use thought only as authority for their injustice, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts."
Dialogue xiv. Le Chapon et la Poularde (1763). 1 See Pope, page 334.
2 See Sheridan, page 3 See Rabelais, page 773.
4 See Smollett, page 392. 6 See Middleton, page 172.
6 See Tillotson, page 266 7 Voltaire writes to his niece Dennis, July 24, 1752, “ Voilà le roi qui m'envoie son linge à blanchir."
8 See Young, page 310.
History is little else than a picture of human crimes and misfortunes.
L'Ingénu. Chap. x. (1767.) The first who was king was a fortunate soldier: Who serves his country well has no need of ancestors.?
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.
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, ir. 17. TERENCE : Phormio, i. 4. 26. 5 FOURNIER : L'Esprit dans l'Istmire, 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 coûtę."
JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU. 1712-1778.
Days of absence, sad and dreary,
Clothed in sorrow's dark array,-
Days of Absence
GESTA ROMANORUM." 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.” ?
Tale zri. See how the world rewards its votaries. Tale zazri. If the end be well, all is well."
Tale lrrii. Whatever you do, do wisely, and think of the consequences.
Tale cüii. 1 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 Courtenar, 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. 3 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 provo erb, “ All's well that ends well.”
SEDAINE. - DE LIGNE. - - GOETHE.
VAUVENARGUES (MARQUIS OF). 1715–1747.
MICHEL JEAN SEDAINE. 1717-1797.
O Richard ! O my king!
Sung at the Dinner giren 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. ciir
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.
? One of the Prince de Ligne's speeches that will last forever. – Edin. burgh Review, July, 1890, p. 244. 3 See Byron, page 549.
4 See Chaucer, page 6.
ROLAND. – BARÈRE. - SCHILLER. - DE L'ISLE.
MADAME ROLAND. 1754-1793.
O Liberty ! Liberty! how many crimes are committed in thy name ! 1
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. Se. 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 Hyms.
The avenging sword unsheathe!
* MACAULAY: Essay on Mirabeau.
2 See Scott, page 495.