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fectionate acebunt by Pascal's own Every beginner in algebrao kaows sister, Madame Périer; but that of that this proposition is ás pustrially Bossut could least be spared of the demolistrable as any negative cao (wo, and it 'was' hardly possible to be; ibat in, the contrary supposia insert both.
- tion can be immediately shewn. 19 & Of the notes by Condorcet and lead to a gross mathematical absur: Voltaire, those of the latter are the dity. Yet Voltaire comments stbus inore numerous ; and ahey, bear on the remark wa bave quoted: plaid marks of the hand from which ". Ce n'est point de raisonnement, they cone. It was Horace Walpole, c'est l'experience et le tâtonnement
, we believe, who called Goldsmith an qui démontre cette singutarité: et inspired idior ; it'a like appellation tant d'autres." Here was tâtonnee were required for Voltaire, perhaps inent indeed, though it demonstrates the most suitable would be that of what was no great singularity, the an inspired monkey. He is the rashness of the writerz We need monkey-deity of the Bramins. The scarcely add, ubat this memorable brillianey, variety, and versatility sally of ignorance occurs in. Vol of tiis parts; his rapidity of ap- taire's second set of nolas not in prehension; his ready wit; bis 'ac- those that passed the eye cof his sivity of mind, perpetual, yet ever brother-annotator. So disgracefula *vithout effort; the power, the viva- display of mathematical lemning, eity, and the ease, with which he would have been suppressed by grapples with all subjects, and most Condorcet ; and surely, the appearstyles of writing, whether light or ance of it in priot must have cost profound, whether literary, scientific, him a deep blush for his master; metaphysical, historical, political, or probably a much deeper one thin relating to common' life and man- the detection of the blunder ever ners: these high qualities, when drew from the hardened vanity of viewed in union with the cternal that gay self-deceiver himself. For grin, the grimace, the chatter, the it rappears ato be asjast / opinion antics, the mischievousness, the in- that vanity was the rolingspassion delicacy, and the apparent want of of Voltaire, shougla probably be was -native dignity, that belong to his not conscious of it in its fell extent, ebaracter, forn a most strange and though it may not be always pro-compound. Never, surely, were minent in bis writings his good malerts so lofty united to thoughts sense (for he seems to bave been No low ; never did genius appear considerably right of head, wbalexer 1978 - shaper at once 80 admirable he was of beari) vrould considerably and so little amiable or respectable. checkianz offensive display.iuf ebe
His knonledge was wonderfully feeling; but it has Pope's own eliabextensive and as wonderfully sa tacter of the ruling passion This perficial; he half-knew every thing clue, once found, unravels.alt she rest; from the cedar to the hyssop, and it explains much that would otherwise the writes of them, and laugbisrat ibe bard to understand in the tilt sithem-altais How courageously he rary life of Voltaire. - It was ap
ventures his reputation on the most parensly this feeling ibat inade bim
, instance will prove, that the result who regarded him as sheir idoldet stof this intrepidity is not always for- eis apparently this feeling that makes stunatest Pascal had remarked, that him d sometimes introduce into the - Speatamu demonstrates bttiat there søery midst of this infidel railleries
are notwr square nonbens of which against Pascal, a sly fling at his wa Bulent is ide puble of the oldier.” z broilersrailersHe inserts, and the
professess to admire Fontenelle's at isnprovement which leaves revela-
self altogether escape the sarcasts been produced in men's minds by
larly organised Anti-Christian con- perfection. Mankind were to grow aspiracy; but if sa, and if it was in every timg but graces and hence headed by Noliaire, even thal eir- the destruction of religion (foro what cumstance alove, we think, would else than Christianity deserves that have gone far to insure its failure. namne?) appears to have been a No conspiracy could have prospered great object with Condorcet; an under a chiet who had so much of object, not; as with Voltaire, struck albe spirit of a prize.figbrer, and out in the mere wicked wantonness zwho was at any time ready to sa of unregulated, genius and overcritice his friends for the pleasure of weening vanity, but suggested by a Tastonishing his enemies.
favourite system, and pursued with Coadorcet was far less of an ano- shocking deliberation, og 9.j?!" -maly Iban Voltaire. "He belonged · Tlse notes of Condorcet on Pas
to the regular order of sceptical phi- cal, with the exception of one ad-
tavourite subjects of speculation with ficially decorous. Those of Voi-
La the credit of Condorcet's, under- fessed enemies of bis principles, to
that shape of cutter 1 extravagance this beinot generous to the fame of which has drawn 501 much just ri. Pascal, as dittle is it just or reverent & dicule on some Englisti maintainers to those important and awful truths of the same doctrina »Compara- which he inculcates So fapian the esively speaking, his ideas might be spresent edition is concerned, the suo called rational, if that epithet could blimeo musings and affecting admobe affixed to any theory of homan' nitions of one of the first among
tited above, bv
Christiat moralists, will never be new impression of the work? The
raised by the commentators before It cannot be necessary to prove us against their author. It does 'apthat a dislike to the circulation of pear to us that they might be reirreligion and infidelity implies no fuled with little difficulty; but they improper distrust of the force and are too numerous to be dispatched the ultimate triumph of truth. Un in a few words. The more advisedoubtedly, the principles of religion able plan may be, to confine the stand on too firm a basis of reason reader's attention to one or two to suffer eventually hy discussion principal parts of Pascal's specula
. Truth is mighty, and will prevail. tions, and to shew what reception But falsehood has, in this world of these have met' from his unfriendly vice and passion, its partial victo- annotators."" At the same time, we ries; and what sort of a policy is it shall be forgiven, we trust, for uce which would sacrifice youth and casionally introdccing a reflection inexperience to the most dange- or two of our ow; with the hope rous seductions of opinion, in inė either of contrib. sing, in some feeble hope that, at the worst
, their fate degree, lo illus: ate our inimitable way furnish an useful warning to author, or of pointing out some caposterity? It is no more a reason sual defect in his views of reason for turning men adrift to every ings. In 'venturing on this latter wind of doctrine, that the right view ground, we are confident that we of things must on the whole prevail, shall not incur the most distant susthan it would be a reason for com- picion of harbouring any unfriendly mitting them to the Atlantic in a
purpose against the author, or his river wherry.that water always finds works. We should be mortified inits level.
deed, if a single syllable in our "It is due in justice to the edi- pages could be tortured into a cosa for to add, that he is not himself struction inconsistent with the deep. a disciple of the new philosophy. est respect for Pascal
..!! On the contrary, he seems á sincere One of the most striking
margubeliever" of Christianity; and, in ments in the « Thoughes," is that by one instance of some importance, which the general depravation and *hich we shall hereafter notice,' he debasement of mankind are inferred has exerted himself with much ef from the ill success that lever at "fect in the vipdication of his author's tends their unassisted researches after fime. This is some compensation truth and happiness. This idea for his unnecessary indulgence to- Pascal sometimes directly states wards the phitosophical annotations; sometimes 'obriously insinuates, and but it makes that indulgence so sometimes, where it is unsuspected much the more surprising Would by careless readers, it forms in truth it not be well if he were to act in the sink foundation of his remarks the spirit of his own suggestion, no For the full derelopement of the
that contain the "nores of Voltaire satted; but, wishing to point to te and Condorcet before he makes a the notice of our readers, we shall
attempt cancisely to explain it in But such a view of human nature our own words.
is consistent with the account wbich The reason of man, says Pascal, Revelation gives of man's pristine is erer engaged in the chase of truth, perfection and subsequent fall, The and his feelings in that of happi. phenomenon does not directly or ness. The pursuit in both instances is, distinctly suggest that doctrine; but most active and diligent, and it is ob-, it is fully compatible with the docu viously dictated by nature; yet set. trine when suggested, and on. Do ting apart Revelation, it is attended other principle can it be solveda with little or no success. The on: The religion, therefore, the oply re.. derstanding, surrounded by infini- ligion, which asserts the fact of the tjes, and distracted between the sy&- fall of man (lor, in this light, Ju+ tems of opposite guides, sinks con-. daism and Christianity are one,) prefounded. The heart panting for re- fers here a strong claim to our belief pose, wastes itself by its eager ac, and acceptance. livity, only lo languish in bopeless : We say, the only religion that ness. A disappointment so univers asserts this fact. Glimpses indeed si cannot but be natural; yet every of the fact appear in other ancient man feels that nature herself suy. systeins; as there very naturally gested the enterprize: she infused' might, supposing it true. But this, the fire that burns in vain; and, even is the only religion that states the after the search, which her bidding fact distinetly, or in such a manner alone prompted, has been relin-, as to render a disbelief of it impos. quished in despair, that irresistible sible to a believer of the religion. and mysterious impulse still sur. It is the only one that states the fact vives, to torture the energies which purely, or without a mixture of malit has exhausted, and lash the ani- ter glaringly and offensively incre. bition that has expired in its ser dible. It is the only one that states, vice.
the fact popularly, or to the people, These contrarieties, so inherent in and not to a few cloistered priests, human nature, accord with the sup of tongue-tied votaries. It is the position, that it is at present in a only one that states the fact sys. state of confusion and disorder. It tematically, or as a cardinal part has the appearance of some exqui- of an entire system of doctrines and site piece of mechanism which duties. Lastly, it is the only rebas unaccountably received a warp; ligion that joins, lo this internal evia the injury pervades it thoroughly, dence of authenticity, a credible yet leaves the beauty of the ori, set of external proofs, or indeed any ginal workmanship discernible. Ilow, thing that deserves the name of an this disorder has ariseo, or what is external proof at all. its exact pature, we must seek else. The corroption of human nature, where; but it plainly subsists. This however, which explains so many yain desire after knowledge and re difficulties, is itself, as Pascal obr. pose, ibis double failure of man, serves, in some views inexplicable. these feverish and fruitless lan- The knowledge of knite beings must guishings after objects thal still stop somewhere, Newton proved haunt his imagination only to elude that gravitation was the great cause his grasp, as they constitute bis or rule of the various phenomena of present misery, so they convey ob- the solar system. Every well-inscure intimations of bis original formed mind now accepts this doce grandeur. The failure would be trine, and admits its value; yet, none, if he had not faculties, to apm what can be more incomprehensible preciate and to feel it; it shews him than gravitation itself? Revelation, born with conceptions too magni, however, though she professedly ficent to be fulfilled, and a sensibir leaves something undone, does more lity too profound to be satisfied. wan enough for erery practical
purposes she does not wholly clear racter doubly solean affectiog, and up the moral mysteries by which religious," when seen through the man is surrounded; but she re- fine and genuine colours of fancy moves them sufficiently to poun in and feeling. As avenglow upon him her bigh and rimmortal : It is not at all surprising that lessons of patience, calmness, and Pascal should have attained to arihope. She does not dispel his diffi- ginality in this instance. He had culties, but she husbes his disquie studied the subject with an honest tudes. She disarnis bis doubts of mind, and with all his hearts and xheir stings, and, without shedding no man who so, studies ang subject, a full. illumination on bis onder however backneyed, will fail to destanding, communicates a perma- liver himself, on it, if he makes the nent and ever-deepening repose to altempt, in an individual and inte shis heart."
resting manner. This is true of The argument we have been every student gifted with ordinary sketching was not absolutely new, faculties; much more will it hold. wbem first used by Pascal. Its when the subject is studied by gegeneral outline had often been nius and judgment, and when the Araced out, more or less vividly, by results of their study are propoundthinking men. That human na. ed. to the world by laste and eloture is in a state of disarrangement quence. and disordentbat the moral har. The use of the argument ia mony of the world is jarred and question, by Pascal, and the elo
untuned that there has appa- quent and pathetic manner in rently been, in some way or other, which he develops it, will the a fall-and, on the other hand, that more strongly prove the jasenuisefor this disturbed and dejected con- ness, independence and versatility dition of things, neither reason nor of his genius, when, we recollect remedy can be found; except in that the influence of his previthe volumes of inspiration ;-- that ous pursuits would rather have led the voice of Scripture is the single bim into a different train and me authority which in any degree un- thod of reasoning. The study of riddles the contradictions of our his earliest choice was geometry, inature, our mingled debasement and and from, geometry he had passed majesty, "the vanity of our reason, to patural philosophy. These were and the grandeur of our destiny;" his darling pursuits ;--- pursuits to all this had been seen, and all this which he had devoted the first els had been said, before. An argu- forts of bis prodigious capacity ment so natural could not be new.pursuits, endeared to him in Javer Yet has it all the merit of novelty life by the grateful recollections of in the hands of Pascal. The energy youthful, diligence and premature with which he presses it, the promi, tame,-pursuits, in which be was so inept light in which be places it, intimately and absolutely at home nay, the almost exclusive stress that, in their' utmost severity, they which he lays on it would alone constitured merely his amusement have given it an appearance highly and recreatioth onder the pressure marked and priginal. But it de- of bodily, pains inexpressibly agot rives a still greater and more strik: nizing I might have been exy ing peculiarity from the tone of nan pecled, then, that these studies, thus tural, exalted, and melancholy elo familiar, thus favourite, should have quence with, which it is enforceds given a peculiar bęot and cask His discourse every where bears his more sacred contemplations. Je witness at once to the sincerity and might have been thought probables the richness of the mind from which sbat bis theological speculations it has flowed and the light of would derive a certain dry and lot. truth itself seems to assume a cha. gical character from his long jati