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Title: Baron d'Holbach

Author: Max Pearson Cushing

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Project Gutenberg E-Text of
Baron D'Holbach: A Study of Eighteenth Century Radicalism in France
by Max Pearson Cushing (27-Oct-1886 to 12-Jan-1951)
Originally published 1914




This e-text transcribed by David Ross <davidross@despammed.com>

Proofed by Richard Farris <rf7211@hotmail.com>






BARON D'HOLBACH
A Study of Eighteenth Century Radicalism in France

by

MAX PEARSON CUSHING




Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements
for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, in
the Faculty of Political Science,
Columbia University




New York
1914




Press of
The New Era Printing Company
Lancaster, PA






TABLE OF CONTENTS


  Introduction.

  CHAPTER I.  HOLBACH THE MAN.

     Early Letters to John Wilkes.

     Holbach's family.

     Relations with Diderot, Rousseau, Hume, Garrick
       and other important persons of the century.

     Estimate of Holbach.  His character and personality.


  CHAPTER II.  HOLBACH'S WORKS.

     Miscellaneous Works.

     Translations of German Scientific Works.

     Translations of English Deistical Writers.

     Boulanger's _Antiquite devoilee_.

     Original Works: _Le Christianisme devoile_.
     _Theologie portative_.
     _La Contagion sacree_.
     _Essai sur les prejuges_.
     _Le bons-sens_.


  CHAPTER III.  THE _Systeme de la Nature_ AND ITS PHILOSOPHY.

     Voltaire's correspondence on the subject.

     Goethe's sentiment.

     Refutations and criticisms.

     Holbach's philosophy.


  APPENDIX.  HOLBACH'S CORRESPONDENCE.

     Five unpublished letters to John Wilkes.


  [ENDNOTES]


  BIBLIOGRAPHY.

    Part I.  Editions of Holbach's works in Chronological Order.

    Part II.  General Bibliography.






BARON D'HOLBACH


     A une extreme justesse d'esprit il joignait une simplicite
     de moeurs tout-a-fait antique et patriarcale.

              J. A. Naigeon, _Journal de Paris_, le 9 fev. 1789






INTRODUCTION


Diderot, writing to the Princess Dashkoff in 1771, thus analysed
the spirit of his century:

Chaque siecle a son esprit qui le caracterise.  L'esprit du notre
semble etre celui de la liberte.  La premiere attaque contre la
superstition a ete violente, sans mesure.  Une fois que les hommes
ont ose d'une maniere quelconque donner l'assaut a la barriere de
la religion, cette barriere la plus formidable qui existe comme la
plus respectee, il est impossible de s'arreter.  Des qu'ils ont tourne
des regards menacants contre la majeste du ciel, ils ne manqueront
pas le moment d'apres de les diriger contre la souverainete de la
terre.  Le cable qui tient et comprime l'humanite est forme de deux
cordes, l'une ne peut ceder sans que l'autre vienne a rompre.
[Endnote 1:1]

The following study proposes to deal with this attack on religion
that preceded and helped to prepare the French Revolution.  Similar
phenomena are by no means rare in the annals of history;
eighteenth-century atheism, however, is of especial interest,
standing as it does at the end of a long period of theological
and ecclesiastical disintegration and prophesying a reconstruction
of society on a purely rational and naturalistic basis.  The
anti-theistic movement has been so obscured by the less thoroughgoing
tendency of deism and by subsequent romanticism that the real
issue in the eighteenth century has been largely lost from view.
Hence it has seemed fit to center this study about the man who
stated the situation with the most unmistakable and uncompromising
clearness, and who still occupies a unique though obscure position
in the history of thought.

Holbach has been very much neglected by writers on the eighteenth
century.  He has no biographer.  M. Walferdin wrote (in an edition
of Diderot's Works, Paris, 1821, Vol. XII p. 115): "Nous nous
occupons depuis longtemps a rassembler les materiaux qui doivent
servir a venger la memoire du philosophe de la patrie de Leibnitz,
et dans l'ouvrage que nous nous proposons de publier sous le titre
"D'Holbach juge par ses contemporains" nous esperons faire justement
apprecier ce savant si estimable par la profondeur et la variete de
ses connaissances, si precieux a sa famille et a ses amis par la
purete et la simplicite de ses moeurs, en qui la vertu etait devenue
une habitude et la bienfaisance un besoin."  This work has never
appeared and M. Tourneux thinks that nothing of it was found among
M. Walferdin's papers. [2:2]  In 1834 Mr. James Watson published
in an English translation of the _Systeme de la Nature_,
_A Short Sketch of the Life and the Writings of Baron d'Holbach_
by Mr. Julian Hibbert, compiled especially for that edition from
Saint Saurin's article in Michaud's _Biographie Universelle_
(Paris, 1817, Vol. XX, pp. 460-467), from Barbier's _Dict. des
ouvrages anonymes_ (Paris, 1822) and from the preface to the Paris
edition of the _Systeme de la Nature_ (4 vols., 18mo, 1821).  This
sketch was later published separately (London, 1834, 12mo, pp. 14)
but on account of the author's sudden death it was left unfinished
and is of no value from the point of view of scholarship.  Another
attempt to publish something on Holbach was made by Dr. Anthony
C. Middleton of Boston in 1857.  In the preface to his translation
to the _Lettres a Eugenia_ he speaks of a "Biographical Memoir of
Baron d'Holbach which I am now preparing for the press."  If ever
published at all this _Memoir_ probably came to light in the
_Boston Investigator_, a free-thinking magazine published by
Josiah P. Mendum, 45 Cornhill, Boston, but it is not to be found.
Mention should also be made of the fact that M. Assezat intended
to include in a proposed study of Diderot and the philosophical
movement, a chapter to be devoted to Holbach and his society; but
this work has never appeared. [3:3]

Of the two works bearing Holbach's name as a title, one is a piece
of libellous fiction by Mme. de Genlis, _Les Diners du baron d'Holbach_
(Paris, 1822, 8vo), the other a romance pure and simple by
F. T. Claudon (Paris, 1835, 2 vols., 8vo) called _Le Baron d'Holbach_,
the events of which take place largely at his house and in which he
plays the role of a minor character.  A good account of Holbach,
though short and incidental, is to be found in M. Avezac-Lavigne's
_Diderot et la Societe du Baron d'Holbach_ (Paris, 1875, 8vo), and
M. Armand Gaste has a little book entitled _Diderot et le cure
de Montchauvet, une Mystification litteraire chez le Baron d'Holbach_
(Paris, 1895, 16vo).  There are several works which devote a chapter
or section to Holbach. [3:4]  The French critics and the histories of
philosophy contain slight notices; Rosenkranz's "Diderot's Leben"
devotes a chapter to Granval, Holbach's country seat, and life there
as described by Diderot in his letters to Mlle. Volland; and he is
included in such histories of ideas as Soury, J., "Breviaire
de l'histoire de Materialisme" (Paris, 1881) and Delvaille, J.,
_Essai sur l'histoire de l'idee de progres_ (Paris, 1910); but
nowhere else is there anything more than the merest encyclopedic
account, often defective and incorrect.

The sources are in a sense full and reliable for certain phases of
his life and literary activity.  His own publications, numbering
about fifty, form the most important body of source material for
the history and development of his ideas.  Next in importance are
contemporary memoirs and letters including those of Voltaire,
Rousseau, Diderot, Grimm, Morellet, Marmontel, Mme. d'Epinay,
Naigeon, Garat, Galiani, Hume, Garrick, Wilkes, Romilly and others;
and scattered letters by Holbach himself, largely to his English
friends.  In addition there is a large body of contemporary hostile
criticism of his books, by Voltaire, Frederick II, Castillon,
Holland, La Harpe, Delisle de Sales and a host of outraged
ecclesiastics, so that one is well informed in regard to the
scandal that his books caused at the time.  Out of these materials
and other scattered documents and notices it is possible to
reconstruct--though somewhat defectively--the figure of a man who
played an important role in his own day; but whose name has long
since lost its significance--even in the ears of scholars.  It is
at the suggestion of Professor James Harvey Robinson that this
reconstruction has been made.  If it shall prove of any interest
or value he must be credited with the initiation of the idea as
well as constant aid in its realization.  For rendering possible
the necessary investigations, recognition is due to the administration
and officers of the Bibliotheque Nationale, the British Museum, the
Library of Congress, the Libraries of Columbia and Harvard
Universities, Union and Andover Theological Seminaries, and the
Public Libraries of Boston and New York.


M. P. C.

NEW YORK CITY,
July, 1914.





CHAPTER I.  HOLBACH, THE MAN.


Paul Heinrich Dietrich, or as he is better known, Paul-Henri Thiry,
baron d'Holbach, was born in January, 1723, in the little village
of Heidelsheim (N.W. of Carlsruhe) in the Palatinate.  Of his
parentage and youth nothing is known except that his father, a rich
parvenu, according to Rousseau, [5:5] brought him to Paris at the
age of twelve, where he received the greater part of his education.
His father died when Holbach was still a young man.  It may be
doubted if young Holbach inherited his title and estates immediately
as there was an uncle "Messire Francois-Adam, Baron d'Holbach,
Seigneur de Heeze, Leende et autres Lieux" who lived in the rue
Neuve S. Augustin and died in 1753.  His funeral was held at
Saint-Roch, his parish church, Thursday, September 16th, where he was
afterward entombed. [5:6]  Holbach was a student in the University
of Leyden in 1746 and spent a good deal of time at his uncle's estate
at Heeze, a little town in the province of North Brabant (S.E. of
Eindhoven).  He also traveled and studied in Germany.  There are two
manuscript letters in the British Museum (Folio 30867, pp. 14, 18, 20)
addressed by Holbach to John Wilkes, which throw some light on his
school-days.  It is interesting to note that most of Holbach's friends
were young Englishmen of whom there were some twenty-five at the
University of Leyden at that time. [6:7]  Already at the age of
twenty-three Holbach was writing very good English, and all his life
he was a friend of Englishmen and English ideas.  His friendship for
Wilkes, then a lad of nineteen, lasted all his life and increased in
intimacy and dignity.  The two letters following are of interest
because they are the only documents we have bearing on Holbach's early
manhood.  They reveal a certain sympathy and feeling--rather gushing
to be sure--quite unlike anything in his later writings, and quite
out of line with the supposedly cold temper of a materialist and an
atheist.

[Footnote: These letters, contrary to modern usage, are printed with all
the peculiarities of eighteenth century orthography.  It was felt that
they would lose their quaintness and charm if Holbach's somewhat
fantastic English were trifled with or his spelling, capitalization
and punctuation modernized.]


HOLBACH TO WILKES

HEEZE Aug. 9, 1746

_Dearest Friend_

I should not have felt by half enough the pleasure your kind letter
gave me, If I had words to express it; I never doubted of your
friendship, nor I hope do you know me so little as to doubt of
mine, but your letter is full of such favorable sentiments to me
that I must own I cannot repay them but by renewing to you the
entire gift of my heart that has been yours ever since heaven
favour'd me with your acquaintance.  I need not tell you the
sorrow our parting gave me, in vain Philosophy cried aloud nature
was still stronger and the philosopher was forced to yield to the
friend, even now I feel the wound is not cur'd.  Therefore no more
of that--_Hope_ is my motto.  Telling me you are happy you make me
so but in the middle of your happiness you dont forget your friend,
What flattering thought to me!  Such are the charms of friendship
every event is shar'd and nothing nor even the greatest intervals
are able to interrupt the happy harmony of truly united minds.  I
left Leyden about 8 or 10 days after you but before my departure I
thought myself obliged to let Mr Dowdenwell know what you told me,
he has seen the two letters Mr Johnson had received and I have been
mediator of ye peace made betwixt the 2 parties, I don't doubt but
you have seen by this time Messrs Bland & Weatherill who were to set
out for Engelland the same week I parted with them.  When I was leaving
Leyden Mr Vernon happen'd to tell me he had a great mind to make a trip
to Spa.  So my uncles' estate being on ye road I desir'd him to come
along with me, he has been here a week and went on afterwards in his
journey, at my arrival here, I found that General Count Palfi
with an infinite number of military attendants had taken possession
of my uncles' house, and that the 16 thousd men lately come from
Germany to strengthen the allies army, commanded by Count Bathiani
and that had left ye neighborhood of Breda a few days before and
was come to Falkenswert (where you have past in your journey to Spa)
one hour from hence.  Prince Charles arrived here the same day from
Germany to take ye command of the allies, the next Day the whole army
amounting to 70thd men went on towards the county of Liege to prevent
the French from beseiging Namur, I hear now that the two armies are
only one hour from another, so we expect very soon the news of a great
battle but not without fear, Count Saxes army being, by all account of
hundred ten thoud. men besides.  Prince Counti's army of 50 thd. this
latter General is now employ'd at the siege of Charleroy. that can't
resist a long while, it is a report that the King of France is arrived
in his army, I hope this long account will entertain you for want of
news papers: Mr. Dowdeswell being left alone of our club at Leyden
I Desir'd him to come and spend with me the time of his vacations
here, which proposal I hope he will accept and be here next week.
What happy triumvirat would be ours if you were to join: but that is
impossible at present; however those who cant enjoy reality are fond
of feeding their fancies with agreable Dreams and charming pictures;
that helps a little to sooth the sorrow of absence and makes one expect
with more pati[ence] till fortune allows him to put in execution the
cherish'd systems he has been fed upon fore some [time] I shall expect
with great many thanks the books you are to send me; it will be for me
a dubble pleasure to read them, being of your choice which I value as
much as it deserves, and looking at them as upon a new proof of your
benevolence, as to those I design'd to get from Paris for you, I heard
I could not get them before my uncles' return hither all commerce being
stopt by the way betwixt this country and France.

A few days before my departure from Leyden I receiv'd a letter from
Mr Freeman from Berlin, he seams vastly pleas'd with our Germany, and
chiefly with Hambourg where a beautiful lady has taken in his heart
the room of poor Mss. Vitsiavius, my prophesy was just; traveling
seems to have alter'd a good deal his melancholy disposition as I may
conjecture by his way of writing.  He desired his service to you.  As
to me, Idleness renders me every day more philosopher every passion
is languishing within me, I retain but one in a warm degree, viz,
friendship in which you share no small part.  I took a whim to study
a little Physic accordingly I purchased several books in that Way, and
my empty hours here are employ'd with them.  I am sure your time will
be much better employ'd at Alesbury you'll find there a much nobler
entertainment Cupid is by far Lovlier than Esculapius, however I shall
not envy your happiness, in the Contrary I wish that all your desires
be crown'd with success, that a Passion that proves fatal to great many
of men be void of sorrow for you, that all the paths of love be spred
over with flowers in one Word that you may not address in vain to the
charming Mss. M.  I am almost tempted to fall in love with that
unknown beauty, 't would not be quite like Don Quixotte for your
liking to her would be for me a very strong prejudice of her merit,
which the poor Knight had not in his love for Dulcinea.

I shall not ask your pardon for the length of this letter I am sure
friendship will forgive the time I steal to Love however I cannot
give up so easily a conversation with a true friend with whom I fancy
to speak yet in one of those delightfull evening walks at Leyden.  It
is a dream, I own it, but it is so agreable one to me that nothing
but reality could be compared to the pleasure I feel: let me therefore
insist a little more upon't and travel with my Letter, we are gone!  I
think to be at Alesbury! there I see my Dear Wilkes! What a Flurry of
Panions! Joy! fear of a second parting! what charming tears! what
sincere Kisses!--but time flows and the end of this Love is now as
unwelcome to me, as would be to another to be awaken'd in the middle
of a Dream wherein he is going to enjoy a beloved mistress; the
enchantment ceases, the delightfull images vanish, and nothing is left
to me but friendship, which is of all my possessions the fairest, and
the surest, I am most sincerely Dear Wilkes

	Your affectionate friend and humble servant
	DE HOLBACH
Heze the 9th august 1746 N. S.

I shall expect with impatience the letter you are to write me from
Alesbury.  Will it be here very soon!


HOLBACH TO WILKES
[HEEZE Dec. 3rd. 1746]

_Dearest Wilkes_

During a little voyage I have made into Germany I have received your
charming letter of the 8th. September O. S. the many affairs I have
been busy with for these 3 months has hindered me hitherto from
returning to you as speedy an answer as I should have done.  I know
too much your kindness for me to make any farther apology and I hope
you are enough acquainted with the sincerety of my friendship towards
you to adscribe my fault to forgetfulness or want of gratitude be
sure, Dear friend, that such a disposition will allways be unknown
to me in regard to you.  I don't doubt but you will be by this time
returned at London, the winter season being an obstacle to the
pleasures you have enjoyed following ye Letter at Alesbury during
the last Autumn.  I must own I have felt a good deal of pride when
you gave me the kind assurance that love has not made you forget an
old friend, I need not tell you my disposition.  I hope you know it
well enough and like my friendship for you has no bounds I want 
expressions to show it.  Mr Dowdeswell has been so good as to let me
enjoy his company here in the month of August, and returned to Leyden
to pursue his studies in the middle of September.  We often wished
your company and made sincere libations to you with burgundy and
Champaigne I had a few weeks there after I set out for Germany where
I expected to spend the whole winter but the sudden death of my
Uncle's Steward has forced me to come back here to put in order the
affairs of this estate, I don't know how long I shall be obliged to
stay in the meanwhile I act pretty well the part of a County Squire,
id est, hunting, shooting, fishing, walking every day without to
lay aside the ever charming conversation of Horace Virgil Homer and
all our noble friends of the Elysian fields.  They are allways faithfull
to me, with their aid I find very well how to employ my time, but I want
in this country a true bosom friend like my dear Wilkes to converse
with, but my pretenssions are too high, for every abode with such a
company would be heaven for me.

I perceive by your last letter that your hopes are very like to
succeed by Mss Mead, you are sure that every happines that can
befall to you will make me vastly happy.  I beseech you therefore
to let me know everytime how far you are gone, I take it to be a
very good omen for you, that your lovely mistress out of compliance
has vouchsafed to learn a harsh high-dutch name, which would otherwise
have made her starttle, at the very hearing of it.  I am very thankful
for her kind desire of seeing me in Engelland which I dont wish the
less but you know my circumstances enough, to guess that I cannot
follow my inclinations.  I have not heard hitherto anything about
the books you have been so kind as to send me over by the opportunity
of a friend.  I have wrote about it to Msrs Conrad et Bouwer of
Rotterdam, they answered that they were not yet there.  Nevertheless
I am very much oblided to you for your kindness and wish to find very
soon the opportunity of my revenge.  Mr Dowderswell complains very much
of Mrs Bland and Weatherill, having not heard of them since their
departure from Leyden.  I desire my compliments to Mr Dyer and all
our old acquaintances.  Pray be so good as to direct your first
letter under the covert of Mr Dowderwell at Ms Alliaume's at Leyden
he shall send it to me over immediately, no more at Mr Van Sprang's
like you used to do.  I wish to know if Mr Lyson since his return to
his native country, continues in his peevish cross temper.  If you
have any news besides I'll be glad to hear them by your next which
I expect very soon.

About politicks I cannot tell you anything at present, you have heard
enough by this time the fatal battle fought near Liege in 8ber last;
everybody has little hopes of the Congress of Breda, the Austrian and
Piedmontese are entered into provence, which is not as difficult as to
maintain themselves therein, I wish a speedy peace would enable us both
to see the rejoicings that will attend the marriage of the Dauphin of
France with a Princess of Saxony.  I have heard that peace is made
between England and Spain, which you ought to know better than I.
We fear very much for the next campaign the siege of Maestrich in
our neighborhood.  These are all the news I know.  I'll tell you
another that you have known a long while viz. that nobody is with
more sincerity My Dear Wilkes

	Your faithfull humble Servant and Friend
	HOLBACH
Heeze the 3 d Xber 1746 ns


By 1750 Holbach was established in Paris as a young man of the world.
His fortune, his learning, his sociability attracted the younger
literary set toward him.  In 1749 he was already holding his Thursday
dinners which later became so famous.  Among his early friends were
Diderot, Rousseau and Grimm.  With them he took the side of the
Italian _Opera buffa_ in the famous musical quarrel of 1752, and
published two witty brochures ridiculing French music. [12:9]  He was
an art connoisseur and bought Oudry's _Chienne allaitant ses petits_,
the _chef d'oeuvre_ of the Salon of 1753. [12:10]  During these years
he was hard at work at his chosen sciences of chemistry and mineralogy.
In 1752 he published in a huge volume in quarto with excellent plates,
a translation of Antonio Neri's _Art of Glass making_, and in 1753 a
translation of Wallerius' _Mineralogy_.  On July 26, 1754, the Academy
of Berlin made him a foreign associate in recognition of his scholarly
attainments in Natural History, [12:11] and later he was elected to the
Academies of St. Petersburg and Mannheim.

All that was now lacking to this brilliant young man was an attractive
wife to rule over his salon.  His friends urged him to wed, and in 1753
he married Mlle. Basile-Genevieve-Susanne d'Aine, daughter of "Maitre
Marius-Jean-Baptiste Nicolas d'Aine, conseiller au Roi en son grand
conseil, associe externe de l'Acad. des sciences et belles letters
de Prusse." [12:12]  M. d'Aine was also Maitre des Requetes and a man
of means.  Mme. d'Holbach was a very charming and gracious woman and
Holbach's good fortune seemed complete when suddenly Mme. d'Holbach
died from a most loathsome and painful disease in the summer of 1754.
Holbach was heart-broken and took a trip through the provinces with
his friend Grimm, to whom he was much attached, to distract his mind
from his grief.  He returned in the early winter and the next year
(1755) got a special dispensation from the Pope to marry his deceased
wife's sister, Mlle. Charlotte-Susanne d'Aine.  By her he had four
children, two sons and two daughters.  The first, Charles-Marius,
was born about the middle of August, 1757, and baptized in
Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois, Aug. 22.  He inherited the family title
and was a captain in the regiment of the Schomberg-Dragons. [13:13]
The first daughter was born towards the end of 1758 and the second
about the middle of Jan., 1760. [13:14]  The elder married the
Marquis de Chatenay and the younger the Marquis de Nolivos,
"Captaine au regiment de la Seurre, Dragons."  Their Majesties the
King and Queen and the Royal Family signed their marriage contract
May 27, 1781. [13:15]  Of the second son there seem to be no traces.
Holbach's mother-in-law, Madame d'Aine, was a very interesting old
woman as she is pictured in Diderot's _Memoires_, and there was a
brother-in-law, "Messire Marius-Jean-Baptiste-Nicholas d'Aine,
chevalier, conseiller du roi en ses conseils, Maitre des requetes
honoraire de son hotel, intendant de justice, police, et finances
de la generalite de Tours," who lived in rue Saint Dominique,
paroisse Saint-Sulpice.  There was in Holbach's household for a
long time an old Scotch surgeon, a homeless, misanthropic old fellow
by the name of Hope, of whom Diderot gives a most interesting
account. [14:16]  These are the only names we have of the personnel
of Holbach's household.  His town house was in the rue Royale, butte
Saint-Roch.  It was here that for an almost unbroken period of forty
years he gave his Sunday and Thursday dinners.  The latter day was
known to the more intimate set of encyclopedists as the _jour du
synagogue_.  Here the _eglise philosophique_ met regularly to discuss
its doctrines and publish its propaganda of radicalism.

Holbach had a very pleasant country seat, the chateau of Grandval,
now in the arrondisement of Boissy St. Leger at Sucy-en-Brie.  It
is pleasantly situated in the valley of a little stream, the Morbra,
which flows into the Marne.  The property was really the estate of
Mme. d'Aine who lived with the Holbachs.  Here the family and their
numerous guests passed the late summer and fall.  Here Diderot spent
weeks at a time working on the Encyclopedia, dining, and walking on
the steep slopes of the Marne with congenial companions.  To him we
are indebted for our intimate knowledge of Grandval and its inhabitants,
their slightest doings and conversations; and as Danou has well said,
if we were to wish ourselves back in any past age we should choose
with many others the mid-eighteenth century and the charming society
of Paris and Grandval. [14:17]

Holbach's life, in common with that of most philosophers, offers no
events, except that he came near being killed in the crush and riot
in the rue Royale that followed the fire at the Dauphin's wedding in
1770. [15:18]  He was never an official personage.  His entire life was
spent in study, writing and conversation with his friends.  He traveled
very little; the world came to him, to the _Cafe de l'Europe_, as
Abbe Galiani called Paris.  From time to time Holbach went to
Contrexeville for his gout and once to England to visit David Garrick;
but he disliked England very thoroughly and was glad to get back to
Paris.  The events of his life in so far as there were any, were his
relations with people.  He knew intimately practically all the great
men of his century, except Montesquieu and Voltaire, who were off the
stage before his day. [15:19]  Holbach's most intimate and life-long
friend among the great figures of the century was Diderot, of whom
Rousseau said, "A la distance de quelques siecles du moment ou il a
vecu, Diderot paraitra un homme prodigieux; on regardera de loin
cette tete universelle avec une admiration melee d'etonnement, comme
nous regardons aujourd'hui la tete des Platon et des Aristote." [15:20]
All his contemporaries agreed that nothing was so charged with divine
fire as the conversation of Diderot.  Gautherin, in his fine bronze
of him on the Place Saint-Germain-des-Pres, seems to have caught the
spirit of his talk and has depicted him as he might have sat in the
midst of Holbach's society, of which he was the inspiration and the soul.
Holbach backed Diderot financially in his great literary and scientific
undertaking and provided articles for the Encyclopedia on chemistry
and natural science.  Diderot had a high opinion of his erudition and
said of him, "Quelque systeme que forge mon imagination, je suis sur
que mon ami d'Holbach me trouve des faits et des autorites pour le
justifier." [16:21]  Opinions differ in regard to the intellectual
influence of these men upon each other.  Diderot was without doubt
the greater thinker, but Holbach stated his atheism with far greater
clarity and Diderot gave his sanction to it by embellishing Holbach's
books with a few eloquent pages of his own.  Diderot said to Sir
Samuel Romilly in 1781, "Il faut _sabrer_ la theologie," [16:22] and
died in 1784 in the belief that complete infidelity was the first
step toward philosophy.  Five years later Holbach was buried by his
side in the crypt of the Chapel of the Virgin behind the high altar
in Saint-Roch.  No tablet marks their tombs, and although repeated
investigations have been made no light has been thrown on the exact
position of their burial place.  According to Diderot's daughter,
Mme. Vandeuil, their entire correspondence has been destroyed or
lost. [16:23]

Holbach's relations with Rousseau were less harmonious.  The account
of their mutual misunderstandings contained in the _Confessions_, in
a letter by Cerutti in the _Journal de Paris_ Dec. 2, 1789, and in
private letters of Holbach's to Hume, Garrick, and Wilkes, is a long
and tiresome tale.  The author of _Eclaircissements relatifs a la
publication des confessions de Rousseau..._ (Paris, 1789) blames the
_club holbachique_ for their treatment of Rousseau, but the fault
seems to lie on both sides.  According to Rousseau's account, Holbach
sought his friendship and for a few years he was one of Holbach's
society.  But, after the success of the _Devin du Village_ in 1753,
the _holbachiens_ turned against him out of jealousy of his genius
as a composer.  Visions of a dark plot against him rose before his
fevered and sensitive imagination, and after 1756 he left the Society
of the Encyclopedists, never to return.  Holbach, on the other hand,
while admitting rather questionable treatment of Rousseau, never
speaks of any personal injury on his part, and bewails the fact that
"l'homme le plus eloquent s'est rendu ainsi l'homme le plus
anti-litteraire, et l'homme le plus sensible s'est rendu le plus
anti-social." [17:24]  He did warn Hume against taking him to England,
and in a letter to Wilkes predicted the quarrel that took place shortly
after.  In writing to Garrick [17:25] he says some hard but true things
about Rousseau, who on his part never really defamed Holbach but
depicted him as the virtuous atheist under the guise of Wolmar in
the _Nouvelle Heloise_.  Their personal incompatibility is best explained
on the grounds of the radical differences in their temperaments and
types of mind and by the fact that Rousseau was too sensitive to get
on with anybody for any great length of time.

Two other great Frenchmen, Buffon and d'Alembert, were for a time
members of Holbach's society, but, for reasons that are not altogether
clear, gradually withdrew.  Grimm suggests that Buffon did not find
the young philosophers sufficiently deferential to him and to the
authorized powers, and feared for his dignity,--and safety, in
their company.  D'Alembert, on the other hand, was a recluse by
nature, and, after giving up his editorship on the Encyclopedia,
easily dropped out of Diderot's society and devoted himself to
Mlle. Lespinasse and Mme. Geoffrin.  Holbach and Helvetius were
life-long friends and spent much time together reading at Helvetius's
country place at Vore.  After his death in 1774, Holbach frequented
Mme. Helvetius' salon where he knew and deeply influenced Volney,
Cabanis, de Tracy, and the first generation of the Ideologists who
continued his and Helvetius' philosophical doctrines.  Among the
other Frenchmen of the day who were on intimate relations with
Holbach and frequented his salon were La Condamine, Condillac,
Condorcet, Turgot, Morellet, Raynal, Grimm, Marmontel, Colardeau,
Saurin, Suard, Saint-Lambert, Thomas, Duclos, Chastellux, Boulanger,
Darcet, Roux, Rouelle, Barthes, Venel, Leroy, Damilaville, Naigeon,
Lagrange and lesser names,--but well known in Paris in the eighteenth
century,--d'Alinville, Chauvelin, Desmahis, Gauffecourt, Margency,
de Croismare, de Pezay, Coyer, de Valory, Charnoi, not to mention a
host of others.

Among Holbach's most intimate English friends were Hume, Garrick,
Wilkes, Sterne, Gibbon, Horace Walpole, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin,
Dr. Priestley, Lord Shelburne, Gen. Barre, Gen. Clark, Sir James
MacDonald, Dr. Gem, Messrs. Stewart, Demster, Fordyce, Fitzmaurice,
Foley, etc.  Holbach addressed a letter to Hume in 1762, before making
his acquaintance, in which he expressed his admiration of his
philosophy and the desire to know him personally. [18:26]  In 1764
Hume came to Paris as secretary of the British Embassy and
immediately called on Holbach and became a regular frequenter of
his salon.  It was to Holbach that he wrote first on the outbreak
of his quarrel with Rousseau and they corresponded at length in 
egard to the publication of the _Expose succinct_, which was to
justify Hume in the eyes of the French.  Hume and Holbach had much
in common intellectually, although the latter was far more
thoroughgoing in his repudiation of Theism.

David Garrick and his wife were frequent visitors at the rue
Royale on their trips to Paris where they were very much liked by
Holbach's society.  Nothing is more cordial or gracious than the
compliments passed between them in their subsequent correspondence.
There are two published letters from Holbach in Mr. Hedgecock's recent
study of Garrick and his French friends, excellent examples of the
happy spontaneity and sympathy that were characteristic of French
sociability in the eighteenth century. [19:27]  Holbach in turn
spent several months with Garrick at Hampton.

Holbach's early friendship for Wilkes has already been mentioned.
Wilkes spent a great deal of time in Paris on the occasion of his
exiles from England and became very intimate with Holbach.  They
corresponded up to the very end of Holbach's life and there was a
constant interchange of friendly offices between them. [19:28]
Miss Wilkes, who spent much time in Paris, was a very good friend
of Mme. Holbach and Mlle. Helvetius.  Adam Smith often dined at
Holbach's with Turgot and the economists; Gibbon also found his
dinners agreeable except for the dogmatism of the atheists; Walpole
resented it also and kept away.  Priestley seems to have gotten on
very well, although the philosophers found his materialism and
unitarianism a trifle inconsistent.  It was at Holbach's that
Shelburne met Morellet with whom he carried on a long and serious
correspondence on economics.  There seem to be no details of Holbach's
relations with Franklin, who was evidently more assiduous at the
salon of Mme. Helvetius whom he desired to marry.

Holbach's best friend among the Italians was Abbe Galiani, secretary
of the Neapolitan Embassy, who spent ten years in the salons of Paris.
After his return to Naples his longing for Paris led him to a voluminous
correspondence with his French friends including Holbach.  A few of
their letters are extant.  Beccaria also came to Paris at the
invitation of the translator of his _Crimes and Punishments_,
Abbe Morellet, made on behalf of Holbach and his society.  Beccaria and
his friend Veri, who accompanied him, had long been admirers of French
philosophy, and the Frenchmen found much to admire in Beccaria's book.
One _avocat-general_, M. Servan of the Parlement of Bordeaux, a friend
of Holbach's, tried to put his reforms in practice and shared the
fate of most reformers.  Holbach was also in correspondence with
Beccaria, and one of his letters has been published in M. Landry's
recent study of Beccaria.

Among the other Italians whom Holbach befriended were Paulo Frizi,
the mathematician; Dr. Gatti; Pincini, the musician; and Mme. Riccoboni,
ex-actress and novelist; whose lively correspondence with Garrick
whom she met at Holbach's sheds much light on the social relations of
the century.

Among the other foreigners who were friends or acquaintances of Holbach
were his fellow countrymen, Frederich Melchon Grimm, like himself a
naturalized Frenchman and the bosom friend of Diderot; Meister, his
collaborator in the _Literary Correspondence_; Kohant, a Bohemian
musician, composer, of the _Bergere des Alpes_ and Mme. Holbach's
lute-teacher; Baron Gleichen, Comte de Creutz, Danish and Scandinavian
diplomats; and a number of German nobles; the hereditary princes of
Brunswick and Saxe Gotha, Baron Alaberg, afterwards elector of Mayence,
Baron Schomberg and Baron Studitz.

Among the well known women of the century Holbach was most intimate
with Mme. d'Epinay, who became a very good friend of Mme. Holbach's
and was present at the birth of her first son, and, in her will, left
her a portrait by Rembrandt.  He was also a friend of Mme. Geoffrin,
attended her salon, and knew Mlle. de Lespinasse, Mme. Houderot and
most of the important women of the day.

There are excellent sources from which to form an estimate of this
man whose house was the social centre of the century.  Just after
Holbach's death on January 21, 1789, Naigeon, his literary agent,
who had lived on terms of the greatest intimacy with him for
twenty-four years, wrote a long eulogy which filled the issue of
the _Journal de Paris_ for Feb. 9.  There was another letter to
the _Journal_ on Feb. 12.  Grimm's _Correspondance Litteraire_ for
March contains a long account of him by Meister, and there are other
notices in contemporary memoirs such as Morellet's and Marmontel's.
All these accounts agree in picturing him as the most admirable of men.

It must be remembered that Holbach always enjoyed what was held to be
a considerable fortune in his day.  From his estates in Westphalia he
had a yearly income of 60,000 _livres_ which he spent in entertaining.
This freedom from economic pressure gave him leisure to devote his
time to his chosen intellectual pursuits and to his friends.  He was
a universally learned man.  He knew French, German, English, Italian
and Latin extremely well and had a fine private library of about
three thousand works often of several volumes each, in these languages
and in Greek and Hebrew.  The catalogue of this library was published
by Debure in 1789.  It would be difficult to imagine a more
comprehensive and complete collection of its size.  He had also a
rich collection of drawings by the best masters, fine pictures of
which he was a connoisseur, bronzes, marbles, porcelains and a natural
history cabinet, so in vogue in those days, containing some very
valuable specimens.  He was one of the most learned men of his day
in natural science, especially chemistry and mineralogy, and to his
translations from the best German scientific works is largely due
the spread of scientific learning in France in the eighteenth
century.  Holbach was also very widely read in English theology and
philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and derived his
anti-theological inspiration from these two sources.  To this vast fund
of learning, he joined an extreme modesty and simplicity.  He sought
no academic honors, published all his works anonymously, and, had it
not been for the pleasure he took in communicating his ideas to his
friends, no one would have suspected his great erudition.  He had an
extraordinary memory and the reputation of never forgetting anything
of interest.  This plenitude of information, coupled with his easy and
pleasant manner of talking, made his society much sought after.  Naigeon
said of him (in his preface to the works of Lagrange):

Personne n'etait plus communicatif que M. le baron d'Holbach; personne
ne prenait aux progres de la raison un interet plus vif, plus sincere,
et ne s'occupait avec plus de zele et l'activite des moyens de les
accelerer.

Egalement verse dans la plupart des matieres sur lesquelles il
importe le plus a des etres raisonnables d'avoir une opinion arretee,
M. le baron d'Holbach portait dans leur discussion un jugement sain,
une logique severe, et une analyse exacte et precise.  Quelque fut
l'objet de ses entretiens avec ses amis, ou meme avec des indifferens,
tels qu'en offrent plus ou moins toutes les societes; il inspirait
sans effort a ceux qui l'ecoutaient l'enthousiasme de l'art ou de la
science dont il parlait; et on ne le quittait jamais sans regretter
de n'avoir pas cultive la branche particuliere de connaissances qui
avait fait le sujet de la conversation, sans desirer d'etre plus
instruit, plus eclaire, et surtout sans admirer la claret, la justesse
de son esprit, et l'ordre dans lequel il savait presenter ses idees.

This virtue of communicativeness, of _sociabilite_, Holbach carried
into all the relations of life.  He was always glad to lend or give
his books to anyone who could make use of them.  "Je suis riche," he
used to say, "mais je ne vois dans la fortune qu'un instrument de plus
pour operer le bien plus promptement et plus efficacement."  In fact
Holbach's whole principle of life and action was to increase the
store of human well being.  And he did this without any religious
motive whatsoever.  As Julie says of Wolmar in _La Nouvelle Heloise_,
"Il fait le bien sans espoir de recompense, il est plus vertueux,
plus desinteresse que nous."  There are many recorded instances
of Holbach's gracious benevolence.  As he said to Helvetius,
"Vous etes brouille avec tous ceux que vous avez oblige, mais j'ai
garde tous mes amis."  Holbach had the faculty of attaching people
to him.  Diderot tells how at the Salon of 1753 after Holbach had
bought Oudry's famous picture, all the collectors who had passed it
by came to him and offered him twice what he paid for it.  Holbach
went to find the artist to ask him permission to cede the picture
to his profit, but Oudry refused, saying that he was only too happy
that his best work belonged to the man who was the first to appreciate
it.  Instances of Holbach's liberality to Kohant, a poor musician,
and to Suard, a poor literary man, are to be found in the pages of
Diderot and Meister, and his constant generosity to his friends is
a commonplace in their Memoirs and Correspondence.  Only Rousseau was
ungrateful enough to complain that Holbach's free-handed gifts insulted
his poverty.  His kindness to Lagrange, a young literary man whom he
rescued from want, has been well told by M. Naigeon in the preface to
the works of Lagrange (p. xviii).

But perhaps the most touching instances of Holbach's benevolence
are his relations with the peasants of Contrexeville, one of which
was published in the _Journal de Lecture_, 1775, the other in an
anonymous letter to the _Journal de Paris_, Feb. 12, 1789.  The
first concerns the reconciliation of two old peasants who, not
wanting to go to court, brought their differences to their respected
friend for a settlement.  Nothing is more simple and beautiful than
this homely tale as told in a letter of Holbach's to a friend of his.
The second, which John Wilkes said ought to be written in letters of
gold, deserves to be reproduced as a whole.

L'eloge funebre que M. Naigeon a consacre a la memoire de M. le
Baron d'Holbach suffit pour donner une idee juste de ses lumieres,
mais le hasard m'a mis a portee de les juger encore mieux.  J'ai vu
M. le Baron d'Holbach dans deux voyages que j'ai faits aux eaux de
Contrexeville.  S'occuper de sa souffrance et de sa guerison, c'est
le soin de chaque malade.  M. le Baron d'Holbach devenait le medecin,
l'ami, le consolateur de quiconque venait aux eaux et il semblait bien
moins occupe de ses infirmites que de celles des autres.  Lorsque des
malades indigens manquaient de secours, ou pecuniaires ou curatifs, il
les leur procurait avec un plaisir qui lui faisait plus de bien que
les eaux.  Je me promenais un soir avec lui sur une hauteur couverte
d'un massif de bois qui fait perspective de loin et pres duquel s'eleve
un petit Hermitage.  La, demeure un cenobite qui n'a de revenu que
les aumones de ceux dont il recoit les visites.  Nous acquittames
chacun notre dette hospitaliere.  En prenant conge de l'Hermite,
M. le Baron d'Holbach me dit de le preceder un instant et qu'il
allait me suivre.  Je le precedai, et comme il ne me suivait pas
je m'arretai, pour l'attendre sur un terte exhausse d'ou l'on decouvre
tout le pays.  Je contemplais le canton que je dominais, plonge dans
une douce reverie.  J'en fus tire par des cris et je me retournai
vers l'endroit d'ou ils partaient.  Je vis M. le Baron d'Holbach
environne d'une vieille femme et de deux villageois, l'un vieux
comme elle et l'autre jeune.  Tous trois, les larmes aux yeux,
l'embrassaient hautement.  Allez vous-en donc, s'ecrait M. le
Baron d'Holbach; laissez moi, on m'attend, ne me suivez pas, adieu;
je reviendrai l'annee prochaine.  En me voyant arriver vers eux,
les trois personnes reconnaissantes disparurent.  Je lui demandai
le sujet de tant de benedictions.  Ce jeune paysan que vous avez vu
s'etait engage, j'ai obtenu de son colonel sa liberte en payant les
cents ecus prescrits par l'ordonnance.  Il est amoureux d'une jeune
paysanne aussi pauvre que lui, je viens d'acheter pour eux un petit
bien qui m'a coute huit cent francs.  Le vieux pere est perclus, aux
deux bras, de rhumatismes, je lui ai fourni trois boites du baume
des Valdejeots, si estime en ce pays-ci.  La vieille mere est sujette
a des maux d'estomac, et je lui ai apporte un pot de confection
d'hyacinthe.  Ils travaillaient dans le champ, voisin du bois, je suis
alle les voir tandis que vous marchiez en avant.  Ils m'ont suivi
malgre moi.  Ne parlez de cela a personne.  On dirait que je veux
faire le genereux et le bon philosophe, mais je ne suis que humain,
et mes charites sont la plus agreable depense de mes voyages.

This humanity of Holbach's is the very keynote of his character and
of his intellectual life as well.  As M. Walferdin has said, the
denial of the supernatural was for him the base of all virtue, and
resting on this principle, he exemplified social qualities that do the
greatest honor to human nature.  He and Madame Holbach are the only
conspicuous examples of conjugal fidelity and happiness among all the
people that one has occasion to mention in a study of the intellectual
and literary circles of the eighteenth century.  They were devoted to
each other, to their children and to their friends.  Considering the
traits of Holbach's character that have been cited, there can scarcely
be two opinions in regard to completeness with which he realized his
ideal of humanity and sociability.  M. Naigeon has well summed up in
a few words Holbach's relation to the only duties that he recognized,
"He was a good husband, a good father and a good friend."




CHAPTER II.  HOLBACH'S WORKS.


Holbach's published works, with the exception of a few scattered ones,
may be divided into three classes, viz., translations of German
scientific works, translations of English deistical writings, and his
own works on theology, philosophy, politics and morals.  Those which
fall into none of these categories can be dealt with very summarily.
They are:

1. Two pamphlets on the musical dispute of 1752; _Lettre a une dame
d'un certain age sur l'etat present de l'Opera_, (8vo, pp. 11) and
_Arret rendu a l'amphitheatre de l'Opera_, (8vo, pp. 16,) both directed
against French music and in line with Grimm's _Petit Prophete_ and
Rousseau's _Lettre sur la musique francaise_.

2. A translation in prose of Akenside's _The Pleasures of Imagination_
(Paris, 1759, 8vo).

3. A translation of Swift's _History of the Reign of Queen Anne_ in
collaboration with M. Eidous (Amsterdam, 1765, 12mo, pp. xxiv + 416).

4. Translations of an _Ode on Human Life_ and a _Hymn to the Sun_
in the _Varietes litteraires_ (1768).

5. Articles on natural science in the _Encyclopedie_ and article
_Prononciation des langues_ in the _Dictionnaire de Grammaire_
of the _Encyclopedie methodique_.

6. Translation of Wallerius' _Agriculture reduced to its true
principles_ (Paris, 1774, 12mo).

7. Two _Faceties philosophiques_ published in Grimm's _Correspondence
Litteraire.  _L'Abbe et le Rabbin_, and _Essai sur l'art de ramper,
a l'usage des courtisans_.

8. Parts of Raynal's _Histoire philosophique des deux Indes_.

9. Notes to Lagrange's _Vie de Seneque_.


Holbach's translations of German scientific works are as follows:
(Complete titles to be found in Bibliography, Pt. I.)

1. _Art de la Verrerie de Neri, Merret, et Kunckel_ (Paris, Durand,
1752).  Original work in Italian.  Latin translation by
Christopher Merret.  German translation by J. Kunckel of Loewenstern.
Holbach's translation comprises the seven books of Antionio Neri,
Merret's notes on Neri, Kunckel's observations on both these authors,
his own experiments and others relative to glass-making.  The translation
was dedicated to Malesherbes who had desired to see the best German
scientific works published in French.  In his _Preface du Traducteur_
Holbach writes:

L'envie de me rendre utile, dont tout citoyen doit etre anime, m'a
fait entreprendre l'ouvrage que je presente au Public.  S'il a le
bonheur de meriter son approbation, quoiqu'il y ait peu de gloire
attachee au travail ingrat et fastidieux d'un Traducteur, je me
determinerai a donner les meilleurs ouvrages allemands, sur
l'Histoire Naturelle, la Mineralogie, la Metallurgie et la Chymie.
Tout le monde sait que l'Allemagne possede en ce genre des tresors
qui ont ete jusqu'ici comme enfouis pour la France.

2. _Mineralogie ou Description generale du regne mineral par
J. G. Wallerius_ (Paris, Durand, 1753) followed by _Hydrologie_
by the same author.  Second edition, Paris, Herrissant, 1759.
Originally in Swedish (Wallerius was a professor of chemistry
in the University of Upsala).  German translation by J. D. Denso,
Professor of Chemistry, Stargard, Pomerania.  Holbach's translation
was made from the German edition which Wallerius considered
preferable to the Swedish.  He was assisted by Bernard de Jussien
and Rouelle, and the work was dedicated to a friend and co-worker
in the natural sciences, Monsieur d'Arclais de Montamy.

3. _Introduction a la Mineralogie... oeuvre posthume de
M. J. F. Henckel_, Paris, Cavelier, 1756, first published under title
_Henckelius in Mineralogia redivivus_, Dresden, 1747, by his pupil,
M. Stephani, as an outline of his lectures.  Holbach's translation
made from a German edition, corrected, with notes on new discoveries
added.

4. _Chimie metallurgique... par M. C. Gellert_.  Paris, Briasson,
1758, translated earlier.  Approbation May 1, 1753, Privilege
Dec. 21, 1754.  Originally a text written by Gellert for four
artillery officers whom the King of Sardinia sent to Freyburg to
learn mining-engineering.

5. _Traites de physique, d'histoire naturelle, de mineralogy et
de metallurgie_.  Paris, Herrissant, 1759, by J. G. Lehmann, three
vols.  I. L'Art des Mines, II. Traite de la formation des metaux,
III. Essai d'une histoire naturelle des couches de la terre.
In his preface to the third volume Holbach has some interesting
remarks about the deluge, the irony of which seems to have escaped
the royal censor, Millet, _Docteur en Theologie_.

"La description si precise et si detaillee que Moise fait
du Deluge dans la Genese, ayant une autorite infaillible, puis
qu'elle n'est autre que celle de Dieu meme, nous rend certains
de la realite et de l'universalite de ce chatiment terrible.
Il s'agit simplement d'examiner si les naturalistes, tels que
Woodward, Schenchzer, Buttner et M. Lehmann lui-meme ne se sont
points trompes, lorsqu'ils ont attribue a cet evenement
seul la formation des couches de la terre et lorsqu'ils
s'en sont servis pour expliquer l'etat actuel de notre globe.
Il semble que rien ne doit nous empecher d'agiter cette question;
l'Ecriture sainte se contente de nous apprendre la voie
miraculeuse dont Dieu s'est servi pour punir les crimes du
genre humain; elle ne dit rien qui puisse limiter les
sentiments des naturalistes sur les autres effets physiques que
le deluge a pu produire.  C'est une matiere qu'elle paroit avoir
abandonnee aux disputes des hommes."  He then proceeds to
question whether the deluge could have produced the results
attributed to it and argues against catastrophism which, it
must be remembered, was the received geological doctrine down
to the days of Lyell.  "Les causes les plus simples sont capables
de produire au bout des siecles les effets les plus grands, surtout
lorsqu'elles agissent incessament; et nous voyons toutes ces causes
reunies agir perpetuellement sous nos yeux.  Concluons, donc, de tout
ce qui precede, que le deluge, seul et les feux souterrains seuls ne
suffisent point pour expliquer la formation des couches de la terre.
On risquera toujours de se tromper, lorsque par l'envie de simplifier
on voudra deriver tous les phenomenes de la nature d'une seule et
unique cause."

6. _Pyritologie_ by J. F. Henkel, Paris, Herrissant, 1760, a large
volume in quarto, translated by Holbach.  It contains _Flora Saturnisans_
(translated by M. Charas and reviewed by M. Roux), Henkel's
_Opuscules Mineralogiques_ and other treatises.  Original editions:
_Pyritologia_, Leipzig, 1725, 1754; _Flora Saturnisans_, Leipzig, 1721;
_De Appropriatione Chymica_, Dresden, 1727, and _De Lapidum origine_,
Dresden, 1734, translated into German, with excellent notes, Dresden,
1744, by M. C. F. Zimmermann, a pupil of M. Henkel.  Holbach's translations
seem to have been well received because he writes in this preface:
"Je m'estimerai heureux si mon travail peut contribuer a entretenir
et augmenter le gout universel qu'on a concu pour le saine physique."

7. _Oeuvres metallurgiques_ de M. J. C. Orschall, Paris, Hardy, 1760.
Orschall still accepted the old alchemist tradition but was sound in
practice and was the best authority on copper.  Holbach does not attempt
to justify his physics which was that of the preceding century.  Orschall
was held in high esteem by Henckel and Stahl.

8. _Recueil des memoires des Academies d'Upsal et de Stockholm_, Paris,
Didot, 1764.  These records of experiments made in the Royal Laboratories
of Sweden, founded in 1683 by Charles XI, had already been translated
into German and English.  Holbach's translation was made from the German
and Latin.  He promises further treatises on Agriculture, Natural History
and Medicine.

9. _Traite du Soufre_ by G. E. Stahl, Paris, Didot, 1766.  In speaking of
Stahl's theories Holbach says: "Il ne faut pas croire que ces connaissances
soient des verites steriles propres seulement a satisfaire une vaine
curiosite, elles ont leur application aux travaux de la metallurgie qui
leur doivent la perfection ou on les a portes depuis quelques temps."
Holbach understood very clearly the utility of science in his scheme of
increasing the store of human well-being, and would doubtless have
translated other useful works had not other interests prevented.  There is
a MSS. note of his in the Bibliotheque Nationale to M. Malesherbes, then
Administrateur de la Librairie Royale; suggesting other German treatises
that might well be translated. (MSS. 22194).


HOLBACH TO MALESHERBES

_Monsieur_

J'ai l'honneur de vous envoyer ci-joint la liste des ouvrages dont
M. Liege fils pourrait entreprendre la traduction.  Je n'en connais
actuellement point d'autres qui meritent l'attention du public.
M. Macquer m'a ecrit une lettre qui a pour objet les memes choses
dont vous m'avez fait l'honneur de me parler, et je lui fais la meme
reponse.

J'ai l'honneur d'etre avec respect, Monsieur,

	Votre tres obeissant serviteur
	D'HOLBACH
a Paris ce 6 d'avril 1761


The list of books was as follows:

1. Johann Kunckel's _Laboratorium Chymicum_, 8vo.

2. Georg Ernest Stahl's _Commentary on Becher's Metallurgy_, 8vo.

3. _Concordantia Chymica Becheri_, 40vo, published by Stahl.

4. _Cadmologia_, or the _Natural History of Cobalt_, by
J. G. Lehmann, Berlin, 1760, 4 deg..


After 1760 Holbach became interested in another line of intellectual
activity, namely the writing and translation of anti-religious
literature.  His first book of this sort really appeared in 1761
although no copies bear this date.  From 1767 on however he published
a great many works of this character.  It is convenient to deal first
with his translations of English deistical writers.  They are in
chronological order.

1. _Esprit du clerge, ou le Christianisme primitif venge des
entreprises et des exces de nos Pretres modernes_.  Londres
(Amsterdam), 1767.  This book appeared in England in 1720 under
the title of _The Independent Whig_; its author was Thomas Gordon
(known through his Commentaries on Sallust and Tacitus) who wrote
in collaboration with John Trenchard.  The book was partially
rewritten by Holbach and then touched up by Naigeon, who, according
to a manuscript note by his brother, "atheised it as much as
possible."  It was sold with great secrecy and at a high price--
a reward which the colporters demanded for the risk they ran in
peddling seditious literature.  The book was a violent attack on
the spirit of domination which characterized the Christian
priesthood at that time.

2. _De L'imposture sacerdotale, ou Recueil de Pieces sur le
clerge_, Londres (Amsterdam), 1767.  Another edition 1772 under
title _De la Monstruosite pontificale_ etc.

Contains translations of various pamphlets including
Davisson, _A true picture of Popery_; Brown, _Popery a Craft_,
London 1735; Gordon, _Apology for the danger of the church_,
1719; Gordon, _The Creed of an Independent Whig_, 1720.

3. _Examen des Propheties qui servent de fondement a la
religion Chretienne_, Londres (Amsterdam), 1768.
Translation of Anthony Collins, _A Discourse on the Grounds and
Reasons of the Christian Religion_, London, 1724.
Contains also _The Scheme of literal Prophecy considered_, 1727,
also by Collins in answer to the works of Clarke, Sherlock,
Chandler, Sykes, and especially to Whiston's _Essay towards
restoring the text of the Old Testament_, one of the thirty-
five works directed against Collins' original _"Discourse"_.
Copies of this work have become very rare.

4. _David, ou l'histoire de l'homme selon le coeur de Dieu_.
Londres (Amsterdam), 1768.  This work appeared in England in 1761
and is attributed to Peter Annet, also to John Noorthook.  Some
English eulogists of George II, Messrs. Chandler, Palmer and
others, had likened their late King to David, "the man after
God's own heart."  The deists, struck by the absurdity of the
comparison, proceeded to relate all the scandalous facts they
could find recorded of David, and by clever distortions painted
him as the most execrable of Kings, in a work entitled _David or
the Man after God's Own Heart_, which formed the basis of Holbach's
translation.

5. _Les pretres demasques ou des iniquites du clerge chretien_.
Londres, 1768.  Translation of four discourses published under
the title _The Ax laid to the root of Christian Priestcraft
by a layman_, London, T. Cooper, 1742.  A rare volume.

6. _Lettres philosophiques..._ Londres (Amsterdam, 1768).
Translation of J. Toland's _Letters to Serena_, London, 1704.
The book, which had become very rare in Holbach's time, had
caused a great scandal at the time of its publication and was
much sought after by collectors.  It contains five letters,
the first three of which are by Toland, the other two and the
preface by Holbach and Naigeon.  The matters treated are, the
origin of prejudices, the dogma of the immortality of the soul,
idolatry, superstition, the system of Spinoza and the origin of
movement in matter.

Diderot said of these works, in writing to Mlle. Volland
Nov. 22, 1768 (_Oeuvres_, Vol. XVIII, p. 308): "Il pleut des
bombes dans la maison du Seigneur.  Je tremble toujours que
quelqu'un de ces temeraires artilleurs-la ne s'en trouve mal.
Ce sont les _Lettres philosophiques_ traduites, ou  supposees
traduites, de l'anglais de Toland; c'est _l'Examen des
propheties_; c'est la _Vie de David ou de l'homme selon la
coeur de Dieu_, ce sont melle diables dechaines.--Ah!
Madame de Blacy, je crains bien que le Fils de l'Homme ne
soit a la porte; que la venue d'Elie ne soit proche, et que
nous ne touchions au regne de l'Anti-christ.  Tous les jours,
quand je me leve, je regarde par ma fenetre, si la grande
prostituee de Babylone ne se promene point deja dans les
rues avec sa grande coupe a la main et s'il ne se fait aucun
des signes predits dans le firmament."

7. _De la Cruaute religieuse_, Londres (Amsterdam).
_Considerations upon war, upon cruelty in general and religious
cruelty in particular_, London, printed for Thomas Hope, 1761.

8. _Dissertation critique sur les tourmens de l'enfer_ printed
in an original work, _L'Enfer detruit_, Londres (Amsterdam),
1769.  A translation of Whitefoot's _The Torments of Hell,
the foundation and pillars thereof discover'd, search'd,
shaken and remov'd_.  London, 1658.

9. In the _Recueil philosophique_ edited by Naigeon, Londres
(Amsterdam), 1770.
I. Dissertation sur l'immortalite de l'ame.  Translated from Hume.
II. Dissertation sur le suicide (Hume).
III. Extrait d'un livre Anglais qui a pour titre le Christianisme
aussi ancien que le monde. (Tindal, Christianity as old as Creation.)

10. _Esprit de Judaisme, ou Examen raisonne de la Loi de Moyse_.
Londres (Amsterdam), 1770 (1769), translated from Anthony Collins.
With the exception of some of Holbach's own works this is one of
the fiercest denunciations of Judaism and Christianity to be found
in print.  In fact, it is very much in the style of Holbach's
anti-religious works and shows beyond a doubt that Holbach derived
his inspiration from Collins and the more radical of the English
school.  The volume has become exceedingly rare.

After outlining the history of Judaism the book ends thus:

Ose, donc enfin, o Europe! secouer le joug insupportable des
prejuges qui t'affligent.  Laisse a des Hebreux stupides, a des
frenetiques imbeciles, a des Asiatiques laches et degrades, ces
superstitions aussi avilissantes qu'insensees: elles ne sont point
faites pour les habitans de ton climat.  Occupe-toi du soin de
perfectionner tes gouvernemens, de corriger tes lois, de reformer
tes abus, de regler tes moeurs, et ferme pour toujours les yeux
a ces vraies chimeres, qui depuis tant de siecles n'ont servi qu'a
retarder tes progres vers la science veritable et a t'ecarter de
la route du bonheur.

11. _Examen critique de la vie et des ouvrages de Saint Paul_,
Londres (Amsterdam), 1770.  A free translation of Peter Annet's
_History and character of St. Paul examined_, written in answer
to Lyttelton.  New edition 1790 and translated back into English
"from the French of Boulanger," London, R. Carlile, 1823.  A
rather unsympathetic account, but with flashes of real insight
into "le systeme religieux des Chretiens dont S. Paul fut
evidemment le veritable architecte." (Epitre dedicatoire.)

Annet said of Paul's type of man "l'enthousiaste s'enivre,
pour l'ainsi dire, de son propre vin, il se persuade que la
cause de ses passions est la cause de Dieu (p. 72), mais
quelque violent qu'ait pu etre l'enthousiasme de S. Paul, il
sentait tres bien que la doctrine qu'il prechait devait paraitre
bizarre et insensee a des etres raisonnables" (p. 141).

12. _De la nature humaine, ou Exposition des facultes, des
actions et des passions de l'ame_, Londres (Amsterdam), 1772.
(Thomas Hobbes.)  Reprinted in a French Edition of Hobbes'
works by Holbach and Sorbiere, 1787.  Appeared first in English
in 1640, omitted in a Latin Edition of Hobbes printed in Amsterdam.
In spite of its brevity, Holbach considered this one of Hobbes'
most important and luminous works.

13. _Discours sur les Miracles de Jesus Christ_ (Amsterdam, 1780?).
Translated from Woolston, whom Holbach admired very much for his
uncompromising attitude toward truth.  He suffered fines and
imprisonments, but would not give up the privilege of writing
as he pleased.  The present discourse was the cause of a quarrel
with his friend Whiston.  He died Jan. 27, 1733, "avec beaucoup de
fermete... il se ferma les yeux et la bouche de ses propres mains,
et rendit l'esprit."  This work exists in a manuscript book
of 187 pages, written very fine, in the Bibliotheque Nationale
(Mss. francais 15224) and was current in France long before 1780.
In fact it is mentioned by Grimm before 1770, but the dictionaries
(Barber, Querard) generally date it from 1780.


Before turning to Holbach's original works mention should be made of
a very interesting and extraordinary book that he brought to light,
retouched, and later used as a kind of shield against the attacks of
the parliaments upon his own works.

In 1766 he published a work entitled _L'Antiquite devoilee par ses
usages, ou Examen critique des principales Opinions, Ceremonies et
Institutions religieuses et politiques des differens Peuples de la
Terre_.  Par feu M. Boulanger, Amsterdam, 1766.  This is a work based
on an original manuscript by Boulanger, who died in 1759, preceded
by an excellent letter on him by Diderot, published also in the
_Gazette Litteraire_.

The use made by Holbach of Boulanger's name makes it necessary to
consider for a moment this almost forgotten writer.  Nicholas Antoine
Boulanger was born in 1722.  As a child he showed so little aptitude
for study that later his teachers could scarcely believe that he had
turned out to be a really learned man.  As Diderot observes, "ces
exemples d'enfans, rendus ineptes entre les mains des Pedans qui
les abrutissent en depit de la nature la plus heureuse, ne sont
pas rares, cependant ils surprennent toujours" (p. 1).  Boulanger
studied mathematics and architecture, became an engineer and was
employed by the government as inspector of bridges and highways.
He passed a busy life in exacting outdoor work but at the same time
his active intellect played over a large range of human interests.
He became especially concerned with historical origins and set himself
to learn Latin and Greek that he might get at the sources.  Not
satisfied that he had come to the root of the matter he learned Arabic,
Syriac, Hebrew and Chaldean.  Diderot says "Il lisait et etudiait
partout, je l'ai moi-meme rencontre sur les grandes routes avec un auteur
rabinnique a la main."  He made a _mappemonde_ in which the globe is
divided in two hemispheres, one occupied by the continents, the other
by the oceans, and by a singular coincidence he found that the
meridian of the continental hemisphere passed through Paris.  Some
such rearrangement of hemispheres is one of the commonplaces of
modern geography.  He furnished such articles as, _Deluge, Corvee, Societe_
for the Encyclopedia and wrote several large and extremely learned books,
among them _Recherches sur l'origine du Despotisme oriental_ and
_Antiquite devoilee_.  He died from overwork at the age of thirty-seven.

Boulanger's ideas on philosophy, mythology, anthropology and history
are of extraordinary interest today.  Diderot relates his saying--"Que
si la philosophie avait trouve tant d'obstacles parmi nous c'etait
qu'on avait commence par ou il aurait fallu finir, par des maximes
abstraites, des raisonnemens generaux, des reflexions subtiles qui
ont revolte par leur etrangete et leur hardiesse et qu'on aurait
admises sans peine si elles avaient ete precedees de l'histoire des
faits."  He carried over this inductive method into realm of history,
which he thought had been approached from the wrong side, i.e., the
metaphysical, "par consulter les lumieres de la raison" (p. 8).  He
continues, "j'ai pense qu'il devait y avoir quelques circonstances
_particulieres_.  Un fait et non une speculation metaphysique m'a
toujours semble devoir etre et tribut naturel et necessaire de
l'histoire."  Curiously enough the central fact in history appeared
to Boulanger to be the deluge, and on the basis of it he attempted to
interpret the _Kulturgeschichte_ of humanity.  It is a bit unfortunate
that he took the deluge quite as literally as he did; his idea, however,
is obviously the influence of environmental pressure on the changing
beliefs and practices of mankind.  Under the spell of this new point
of view, he writes, "Ce qu'on appelle l'histoire n'en est que la partie
la plus ingrate, la plus uniforme, la plus inutile, quoi qu'elle soit
la plus connue.  La veritable histoire est couverte par le voile des
temps" (p. 7).  Boulanger however was not to be daunted and on the
firm foundation of the fact of some ancient and universal catastrophe,
as recorded on the surface of the earth and in human mythology, he
proceeds to inquire into the moral effects of the changes in the
physical environment back to which if possible the history of antiquity
must be traced.  Man's defeat in his struggle with the elements made
him religious, _hinc prima mali labes_.  "Son premier pas fut un faux
pas, sa premiere maxime fut une erreur" (p. 4 sq).  But it was not his
fault nor has time repaired the evil moral effects of that early
catastrophe.  "Les grandes revolutions physiques de notre globe sont
les veritables epoques de l'histoire des nations " (p. 9).  Hence have
arisen the various psychological states through which mankind has passed.
Contemporary savages are still in the primitive state--Boulanger
properly emphasizes the relation of anthropology to history--"On apercoit
qu'il y a une nouvelle maniere de voir et d'ecrire l'histoire des hommes"
(p. 12) and with a vast store of anthropological and folklorist learning
he writes it so that his assailant, Fabry d'Autrey, in his _Antiquite
justifiee_ (Paris, 1766) is obliged to say with truth, "Ce n'est point
ici un tissus de mensonges grossiers, de sophismes rebattus et bouffons,
appliques d'un air meprisant aux objets les plus interessants pour
l'humanite.  C'est une enterprise serieuse et reflechie" (p. 11).

In 1767 Holbach published his first original work, a few copies of
which had been printed in Nancy in 1761.  This work was _Le Christianisme
devoile ou Examen des principes et des effets de la religion Chretienne_.
Par feu  M. Boulanger.  Londres (Amsterdam), 1767.  There were several
other editions the same year, one printed at John Wilkes' private press
in Westminster.  It was reprinted in later collections of Boulanger's
works, and went through several English and Spanish editions.  The form
of the title and the attribution of the work to Boulanger were designed
to set persecution on the wrong track.  There has been some discussion
as to its authorship.  Voltaire and Laharpe attributed it to Damilaville,
at whose book shop it was said to have been sold, but M. Barbier has
published detailed information given him by Naigeon to the effect that
Holbach entrusted his manuscript to M. De Saint-Lambert, who had it
printed by Leclerc at Nancy in 1761.  Most of the copies that got to
Paris at that time were bought by several officers of the King's
regiment then in garrison at Nancy, among them M. de Villevielle, a
friend of Voltaire and of Condorcet.  Damilaville did not sell a
single copy and even had a great deal of trouble to get one for
Holbach who waited for it a long time.  This circumstantial evidence
is of greater value than the statement of Voltaire who was in the habit
of attributing anonymous works to whomever he pleased. [39:2]

The edition of 1767 was printed in Amsterdam as were most of Holbach's
works.  We have the details of their publication from Naigeon _cadet_,
a copyist, whose brother, J. A. Naigeon, was Holbach's literary factotum.
In a manuscript note in his copy of the _Systeme de la Nature_ he tells
how he copied nearly all Holbach's works, either at Paris or at Sedan,
where he was stationed, and where his friend Blon, the postmaster, aided
him, passing the manuscripts on to a Madame Loncin in Liege, who in turn
was a correspondent of Marc-Michel Rey, the printer in Amsterdam.
Sometimes they were sent directly by the diligence or through travellers.
This account agrees perfectly with information given M. Barbier orally
by Naigeon _aine_.  After being printed in Holland the books were smuggled
into France _sous le manteau_, as the expression is, and sold at absurd
rates by colporters. [40:3]

Diderot writing to Falconet early in 1768 [40:4] says: "Il pleut des
livres incredules.  C'est un feu roulant qui crible le sanctuaire
de toutes parts... L'intolerance du gouvernment s'accroit de jour en
jour.  On dirait que c'est un projet forme d'eteindre ici les lettres,
de ruiner le commerce de librairie et de nous reduire a la besace et a
la stupidite... _Le Christianisme devoile_ s'est vendu jusqu'a quatre
louis."

When caught the colporters were severely punished.  Diderot gives
the following instance in a letter to Mlle. Volland Oct. 8, 1768
(Avezac-Lavigne, _Diderot_, p. 161): "Un apprenti avait recu, en
payment ou autrement, d'un colporteur appele Lecuyer, deux exemplaires
du _Christianisme devoile_ et il avait vendu un de ces exemplaires a
son patron.  Celui-ci le defere au lieutenant de police.  Le colporteur,
sa femme et l'apprenti sont arretes tous les trois; ils viennent d'etre
pilories, fouettes et marques, et l'apprenti condamne a neuf ans de
galeres, le colporteur a cinq ans, et la femme a l'hopital pour toute
sa vie."

There are two very interesting pieces of contemporary criticism
of _Le Christianisme devoile_, one by Voltaire, the other by
Grimm.  Voltaire writes in a letter to Madame de Saint Julien
December 15, 1766 (_Oeuvres_, XLIV, p. 534, ed. Garnier): "Vous
m'apprenez que, dans votre societe, on m'attribue _Le Christianisme
devoile_ par feu M. Boulanger, mais je vous assure que les gens au
fait ne m'attribuent point du tout cet ouvrage.  J'avoue avec vous
qu'il y a de la clarte, de la chaleur, et quelque fois de l'eloquence;
mais il est plein de repetitions, de negligences, de fautes contre
la langue et je serais tres-fache de l'avoir fait, non seulement comme
academicien, mais comme philosophe, et encore plus comme citoyen.

"Il est entierement oppose a mes principes.  Ce livre conduit a
l'atheisme que je deteste.  J'ai toujours regarde l'atheisme comme
le plus grand egarement de la raison, parce qu'il est aussi ridicule
de dire que l'arrangement du monde ne prouve pas un artisan supreme
qu'il serait impertinent de dire qu'une horloge ne prouve pas un horloger.

"Je ne reprouve pas moins ce livre comme citoyen; l'auteur parait
trop ennemi des puissances.  Des hommes qui penseraient comme lui
ne formeraient qu'une anarchie: et je vois trop, par l'example de
Geneve, combien l'anarchie est a craindre.  Ma coutume est d'ecrire
sur la marge de mes livres ce que je pense d'eux, vous verrez, quand
vous daignerez venir a Ferney, les marges de _Christianisme devoile_
charges de remarques qui montrent que l'auteur s'est trompe sur les
faits les plus essentiels."  These notes may be read in Voltaire's
works (Vol. XXXI, p. 129, ed. Garnier) and the original copy of
_Le Christianisme devoile_ in which he wrote them is in the British
Museum (c 28, k 3) where it is jealously guarded as one of the most
precious autographs of the Patriarch of Ferney.

Grimm's notice is from the _Correspondance Litteraire_ of August 15,
1763 (Vol. V, p. 367).  "Il existe un livre intitule _le Christianisme
devoile ou Examen des principes et des effets de la religion Chretienne_,
par feu M. Boulanger, volume in 8vo.  On voit d'abord qu'on lui a donne
ce titre pour en faire le pendant de _l'Antiquite devoilee_; mais il
ne faut pas beaucoup se connaitre en maniere pour sentir que ces deux
ouvrages ne sont pas sortis de la meme plume.  On peut assurer avec
la meme certitude que celui dont nous parlons ne vient point de la
fabrique de Ferney, parce que j'aimerais mieux croire que le patriache
eut pris la lune avec ses dents; cela serait moins impossible que de
guetter sa maniere et son allure si completement qu'il n'en restat
aucune trace quelconque.  Par la meme raison, je ne crois ce livre
d'aucun de nos philosophes connus, parce que je n'y trouve la maniere
d'aucun de ceux qui ont ecrit.  D'ou vient-il donc?  Ma foi, je serais
fache de le savoir, et je crois que l'auteur aura sagement fait de ne
mettre personne dans son secret.  C'est le livre le plus hardi et le
plus terrible qui ait jamais parti dans aucun lieu du monde.  La
preface consiste dans une lettre ou l'auteur examine si la religion
est reellement necessaire ou seulement utile au maintien ou a la police
des empires, et s'il convient de la respecter sous ce point de vue.
Comme il etablit la negative, il entreprend en consequence de prouver,
par son ouvrage, l'absurdite et l'incoherence du dogme Chretien et de
la mythologie qui en resulte, et l'influence de cette absurdite sur
les tetes et sur les ames.  Dans la seconde partie, il examine la
morale chretienne, et il pretend prouver que dans ses principes
generaux elle n'a aucun avantage sur toutes les morales du monde,
parce que la justice et la bonte sont recommandees dans tous les
catechismes de l'univers, et que chez aucun peuple, quelque barbare
qu'il fut, on n'a jamais enseigne qu'il fallut etre injuste et mechant.
Quant a ce que la morale chretienne a de particulier, l'auteur pretend
demontrer qu'elle ne peut convenir qu'a des enthousiastes peu propres
aux devoirs de la societe, pour lesquels les hommes sont dans ce monde.
Il entreprend de prouver, dans la troisieme partie, que la religion
chretienne a eu les effets politiques les plus sinistres et les plus
funestes, et que le genre humain lui doit tous les malheurs dont il a
ete accable depuis quinze a dix-huit siecles, sans qu'on en puisse
encore prevoir la fin.

Ce livre est ecrit avec plus de vehemence que de veritable eloquence;
il entraine.  Son style est chatie et correct, quoique un peu dur et
sec; son ton est grave et soutenu.  On n'y apprend rien de nouveau,
et cependant il attache et interesse.  Malgre son incroyable temerite,
on ne peut refuser a l'auteur la qualite d'homme de bien fortement
epris du bonheur de sa race et de la prosperite des societes; mais
je pense que ses bonnes intentions seraient une sauvegarde bien
faible contre les mandements et les requisitions."  This is a clear
and fair account of a book that is without doubt the severest criticism
of the theory and practice of historical Christianity ever put in print.

The church very naturally did not let such a book pass unanswered.
Abbe Bergier, a heavy person, triumphantly refuted Holbach in eight
hundred pages in his _Apologia de la Religion Chretienne contre
l'Auteur du Christianisme devoile_, Paris, 1769, which finishes
with the fatal prophecy, "Nous avons de surs garans de nos esperances:
tant que le sang auguste de S. Louis sera sur le trone, _il n'y a
point de revolutions a craindre ni dans la Religion ni dans la
politique_.  La religion Chretienne fondee sur la parole de Dieu...
triomphera des nouveaux Philosophes.  Dieu qui veille sur son ouvrage
n'a pas besoin de nos faibles mains pour le soutenir"
(Psaume 32, vs. 10, 11).

2. There already existed in 1767 another work by Holbach entitled
_Theologie portative ou Dictionnaire Abrege de la Religion Chretienne.
Par Mr Abbe Bernier_.  Londres (Amsterdam), 1768 (1767).  This book
went through many editions and was augmented by subsequent authors
and editors.  Voltaire was already writing to d'Alembert about it
August 14, 1767. [44:5]

In a letter to Damilaville, October 16, he writes (Vol. XIV, p. 406):

Depuis trois mois il y a une douzaine d'ouvrages d'une liberte
extreme, imprimes en Hollande.  _La Theologie portative_ n'est
nullement theologique: ce n'est qu'une plaisanterie continuelle
par ordre alphabetique; mais il faut avouer qu'il y a des traits
si comiques que plusieurs theologiens memes ne pourront s'empecher
d'en rire.  Les jeunes gens et les femmes lisent cette folie avec
avidite.  Les editions de tous les livres dans ce gout se multiplient.

And on February 8, 1768, he wrote:

On fait tous les jours des livres contre la religion, dont je voudrais
bien imiter le style pour la defendre.  Y a-t-il de plus sale, que
la plupart des traits qui se trouvent dans la _Theologie portative_?
Y a-t-il rien de plus vigoreux, de plus profondement raisonne, d'ecrit
avec une eloquence plus audacieuse et plus terrible, que le _Militaire
philosophe_, ouvrage qui court toute l'Europe? [by Naigeon and Holbach]
Lisez la _Theologie portative_, et vous ne pourrez vous empecher de rire,
en condammant la coupable hardiesse de l'auteur.  Lisez _l'Imposture
sacerdotale_--vous y verrez le style de Demosthene.  Ces livres
malheuresement inondent l'Europe; mais quelle est la cause de cette
inondation?  Il n'y en a point d'autre que les querelles theologiques
qui ont revolte les laiques.  _Il s'est fait une revolution dans
l'esprit humain que rien ne peut plus arreter: les persecutions ne
pourraient qu'irriter le mal_.  [Footnote: the italics are mine.]

It is to be noted however that Voltaire's sentiments varied according
to the point of view of the person to whom he was writing.  In a
letter to d'Alembert, May 24, 1769 (Vol. LXV, p. 453), he calls the
_Theologie portative_ "un ouvrage a mon gre, tres plaisant, auquel
je n'ai assurement nulle part, ouvrage que je serais tres fache
d'avoir fait, et que je voudrais bien avoir ete capable de faire."
But in a letter to the Bishop of Annecy June, 1769, he writes
(Vol. XXVIII, p. 73): "Vous lui [M. de Saint Florentin] imputez,
a ce que je vois par vos lettres, des livres miserables, et jusqu'a
_la Theologie portative_, ouvrage fait apparemment dans quelque
cabaret; vous n'etes pas oblige d'avoir du gout, mais vous etes
oblige d'etre juste" (Vol. XXVIII, p. 73).  Diderot even said of
the book: "C'est un assez bon nombre de bonnes plaisanteries noyees
dans un beaucoup plus grand nombre de mauvaises" and this criticism
is just.  A few examples of the better jokes will suffice:

_Adam:_ C'est le premier homme, Dieu en fait un grand nigaud, qui
pour complaire a sa femme eut la betise de mordre dans une pomme
que ses descendans n'ont point encore pu digerer.

_Idees Innees:_ Notions inspirees des Pretres de si bonne heure,
si souvent repetees, que devenu grand l'on croit les avoir eu
toujours ou les avoir recus des le ventre de sa mere.

_Jonas:_ La baleine fut a la fin obligee de le vomir tant un
Prophete est un morceau difficile a digerer.

_Magie:_ Il y en a de deux sortes, la blanche et la noire.  La
premiere est tres sainte et se pratique journellement dans
l'eglise.

_Protestants:_ Chretiens amphibies.

_Vierge:_ C'est la mere du fils de Dieu et belle-mere de l'eglise.

_Visions:_ Lanternes magiques que de tout temps le Pere Eternel
s'est amuse a montrer aux Saintes et aux Prophetes.

3. Holbach furnished the last chapter of Naigeon's book _Le Militaire
philosophe, ou Difficulties sur la religion_, Londres (Amsterdam), 1768.
Voltaire ascribed the work to St. Hyacinthe.  Grimm recognized that the
last chapter was by another hand and considered it the weakest part of
the book.  It attempts to demonstrate that all supernatural religions
have been harmful to society and that the only useful religion is
natural religion or morals.  The book was refuted by Guidi, in a
"_Lettre a M. le Chevalier de... [Barthe] entraine dans l'irreligion
par un libelle intitule Le Militaire philosophe_ (1770, 12mo).

4. Holbach's next book was _La Contagion sacree ou l'Histoire
naturelle de la Superstition_, Londres (Amsterdam), 1768.  In his
preface Holbach attributed the alleged English original of this
work to John Trenchard but that was only a ruse to avoid persecution.
The book is by Holbach.  It has gone through many editions and been
translated into English and Spanish.  The first edition had an
introduction by Naigeon.  According to him manuscripts of this
book became quite rare at one time and were supposed to have been
lost.  Later they became more common and this edition was corrected
by collation with six others.


     [PG transcriber's note: at this point there appears to be a break
     in the original text.  A sentence introducing the fifth book in
     this list, "Letters to Eugenie", has evidently been lost.]


The letters were written in 1764, according to Lequinio
(_Feuilles posthumes_), who had his information from Naigeon, to
Marguerite, Marchioness de Vermandois in answer to a very touching
and pitiful letter from that lady who was in great trouble over
religion.  Her young husband was a great friend of the Holbachs,
but having had a strict Catholic bringing up she was shocked at
their infidelity and warned by her confessor to keep away from them.
"Yet in their home she saw all the domestic virtues exemplified and
beheld that sweet and unchangeable affection for which the d'Holbachs
were eminently distinguished among their acquaintances and which was
remarkable for its striking contrast with the courtly and Christian
habits of the day.  Her natural good sense and love for her friends
struggled with her monastic education and reverence for the priests.
The conflict rendered her miserable and she returned to her country
seat to brood over it.  In this state of mind she at length wrote
to the Baron and laid open her situation requesting him to comfort,
console, and enlighten her." [47:7]  His letters accomplished the
desired effect and he later published them in the hope that they
would do as much for others.  They were carefully revised before
they were sent to the press.  All the purely personal passages were
omitted and others added to hide the identity of the persons concerned.
Letters of the sort to religious ladies were common at this time.
Freret's were preventive, Holbach's curative, but appear to be rather
strong dose for a _devote_.  Other examples are Voltaire's _Epitre a Uranie_
and Diderot's _Entretien d'un Philosophe avec la Marechale de..._.

6. In 1769 Holbach published two short treatises on the doctrine
of eternal punishment which claimed to be translations from English,
but the originals are not to be found.  The titles are _De l'intolerance
convaincue de crime et de folie_ as it is sometimes given, and--

7. _L'Enfer detruit ou Examen raisonne du Dogme de l'Eternite des
Peines_.  Londres, Amsterdam, 1769.  This letter was translated
into English under the title _Hell Destroyed!_ "Now first translated
from the French of d'Alembert without any mutilations," London 1823,
which led Mr. J. Hibbert to say, "I know not why English publishers
attribute this awfully sounding work to the cautious, not to say
timid d'Alembert.  It was followed by Whitefoot's _'Torments of Hell,'_
now first translated from the French." [47:8]


Of Holbach's remaining works on religion two, _Histoire critique
de Jesus Christ_ and _Tableau des Saints_, date from 1770 when he
began to publish his more philosophical works.

8. The _Histoire critique de Jesus Christ ou Analyse raisonnee des
Evangiles_ was published without name of place or date.  It was
preceded by Voltaire's _Epitre a Uranie_.  It is an extremely careful
but unsympathetic analysis of the Gospel accounts, emphasizing all
the inconsistencies and interpreting them with a literalness that
they can ill sustain.  From this rationalistic view-point Holbach
found the Gospels a tissue of absurdities and contradictions.  His
method, however, would not be followed by the critique of today.

9. The _Tableau des Saints_ is a still more severe criticism of
the heroes of Christendom.  Holbach's proposition is "La raison
ne connait qu'une mesure pour juger et les hommes et les choses,
c'est l'utilite reelle et permanente, qui en resulte pour notre
espece," (p. 111).  Judged by this standard, the saints with their
eyes fixed on another world have fallen far short.  "Ils se flatterent
de meriter le ciel en se rendant parfaitement inutile a la terre"
(p. xviii).  Holbach much prefers the heroes of classical antiquity.
The book is violent but learned throughout, and deals not only with
the Jewish patriarchs from Moses on but with the church fathers and
Christian Princes down to the contemporary defenders of the faith.
After a rather one-sided account of the most dreary characters and
events in Christian history, Holbach concludes: "Tel fut, tel est,
et tel sera toujours l'esprit du Christianisme: il est aise de sentir
qu'il est incompatible avec les principes les plus evidens de la
morale et de la saine politique" (p. 208).

10. In _Recueil philosophique_, Londres (Amsterdam), 1770, edited
by Naigeon.  Reflexions sur les craintes de la Mort.  Probleme
important--La Religion est-elle necessaire a la morale et utile
a la Politique.  Par M. Mirabaud.

11. _Essai sur les prejuges, ou De l'influence des opinions sur
les moeurs et sur le bonheur des Hommes_.  Londres (Amsterdam),
1770, under name of Dumarsais.  The book pretended to be an
elaboration of Dumarsais' essay on the _Philosophe_ published
in the _Nouvelles libertes de penser, 1750.

The special interest connected with it was the refutation Frederick
the Great published under the title _Examen de l'Essai sur les
prejuges_, Londres, Nourse, 1770 (16 mo).  The King of Prussia
writing from the point of view of a practical, enlightened despot,
took special exception to Holbach's remarks on government.  "Il
l'outrage avec autant de grossierete que d'indecence, il force le
gouvernement de prendre fait et cause avec l'eglise pour s'opposer
a l'ennemi commun.  Mais, quand avec un acharnement violent et les
traits de la plus acre satire, il calomnie son Roi et le gouvernement
de son pays, on le prend pour un frenetique echappe de ses chaines,
et livre aux transports les plus violens de sa rage.  Quoi, Monsieur
le philosophe, protecteur des moeurs et de la vertu, ignorez vous
qu'un bon citoyen doit respecter la forme de gouvernement sous
laquelle il vit, ignorez vous qu'il ne convient point a un particulier
d'insulter les Puissances..." (p. 28).

"Non content d'insulter a toutes les tetes couronnes de l'Europe,
notre philosophe s'amuse, en passant, a repandre du ridicule sur
les ouvrages de Hugo Grotius.  J'oserais croire qu'il n'en sera
pas cru sur sa parole, et que le _Droit de la guerre et de la
paix_ ira plus loin a la posterite que _l'Essai sur les
prejuges_" (p. 39).

Holbach in his anti-militaristic enthusiasm had used the words
"bourreaux mercenaires"; "epithete elegante," continues Frederick,
"dont il honore les guerriers.  Mais souffrions nous qu'un cerveau
brule insulte au plus noble emploi de la Societe?" (p.49).  He goes
on to defend war in good old-fashioned terms.  "Vous declamez contre
la guerre, elle est funeste en elle-meme; mais c'est un mal comme
ces autres fleaux du ciel qu'il faut supposer necessaires dans
l'arrangement de cet univers parce qu'ils arrivent periodiquement
et qu'aucun siecle n'a pu jusqu'a present d'en avoir ete exempt.  J'ai
prouve que de tout temps l'erreur a domine dans ce monde; et comme une
chose aussi constante peut etre envisagee comme une loi general de la
nature, j'en conclus que ce qui a ete toujours sera toujours le
meme" (p. 19).

Frederick sent his little refutation to Voltaire for his compliments
which were forthcoming.  A few days after Voltaire wrote to d'Alembert:

Le roi de Prusse vous a envoye, sans doute, son petit ecrit contre
un livre imprime cette annee, intitule _Essai sur les prejuges_, ce
roi a aussi les siens, qu'il faut lui pardonner; on n'est pas roi
pour rien.  Mais je voudrais savoir quel est l'auteur de cet _Essai_
contre lequel sa majeste prussienne s'amuse a ecrire un peu durement.
Serait-il de Diderot? serait-il de Damilaville? serait-il d'Helvetius?
peut-etre ne le connaissez-vous point, je le crois imprime en Hollande
(Vol. LXVI, p. 304).

D'Alembert answered: 

Oui, le roi de Prusse m'a envoye son ecrit contre _l'Essai sur les
prejuges_.  Je ne suis point etonne que ce prince n'ait pas goute
l'ouvrage; je l'ai lu depuis cette refutation et il m'a paru bien
long, bien monotone et trop amer.  Il me semble que ce qu'il y de
bon dans ce livre aurait pu et du etre noye dans moins de pages et
je vois que vous en avez porte a peu pres le meme jugement
(Vol. LXVI, p. 324).

In spite of these unfavorable judgments the _Essai_ was reprinted
as late as 1886 by the Bibliotheque Nationale in its _Collection
des meilleurs auteurs anciens et modernes_, still attributed to
Dumarsais with the account of his life by "le citoyen Daube"
which graced the edition of the year I. (1792)

12. Early in 1770 appeared Holbach's most famous book, the
_Systeme de la Nature_, the only book that is connected with his
name in the minds of most historians and philosophers.  It seems
wiser, however, to deal with this work in a chapter apart and
continue the account of his later publications.

13. The next of which was _Le bon-sens, ou idees naturelles opposees
aux idees surnaturelles.  Par l'Auteur du Systeme de la Nature_,
Londres (Amsterdam), 1772.  This work has gone through twenty-five
editions or more and has been translated into English, German, Italian
and Spanish.  As early as 1791 it began to be published under the name
of the cure Jean Meslier d'Etrepigny, made so famous by Voltaire's
publication of what was supposed to be his last will and testament
in which on his death bed he abjured and cursed Christianity.  Some
editions contain in the preface Letters by Voltaire and his sketch
of Jean Meslier.  The last reprint was by De Laurence, Scott & Co.,
Chicago, 1910.  The book is nothing more or less than the
_Systeme de la Nature_, in a greatly reduced and more readable form.

Voltaire, to whom it was attributed by some, said to d'Alembert,
"Il y a plus que du bon sens dans ce livre, il est terrible.  S'il
sort de la boutique du _Systeme de la Nature_, l'auteur s'est bien
perfectionne."  D'Alembert answered: "Je pense comme vous sur le
_Bon-sens_ qui me parait un bien plus terrible livre que le
_Systeme de la Nature_."  These remarks were inscribed by
Thomas Jefferson on the title page of his copy of _Bon-sens_.
The book has gone through several editions in the United States and
was sold at a popular price.  The German translation was published
in Baltimore on the basis of a copy found in a second-hand book
store in New Orleans.  The most serious work written against it is
a long and carefully written treatise against materialism by an
Italian monk, Gardini, entitled _L'anima umana e sue proprieta dedotte
da soli principi de ragione, dal P. lettore D. Antonmaria Gardini,
monaco camaldalese, contro i materialisti e specialmente contro
l'opera intitulata, le Bon-Sens, ou Idees Naturelles opposees aux idees
Surnaturelles.  In Padova MDCCLXXXI Nella stamperia del Seminario.
Appresso Giovanni Manfre, Con Licenza de Superiori e Privilegio_
(8vo, p. xx + 284).

14. In 1773 Holbach published his _Recherches sur les Miracles_,
a much more sober work than his previous writings on religion.  In
this book he raises the well known difficulties with belief in
miracles and brings a great deal of real learning and logic to
bear on the question.  The entire work is in a reasonable and
philosophic spirit.  His conclusion is that "une vraie religion
doit avoir au defaut de bonnes raisons, des preuves sensibles,
capables de faire impression sur tout ceux qui la cherchent de
bonne foi.  Ce ne sont pas les miracles."  The same year he
published two serious but somewhat tiresome works on politics.

15. _La politique naturelle_.

16. _Systeme social_ in which he attempts to reduce government
to the naturalistic principles which were the basis of his entire
philosophy.  The first is also attributed to Malesherbes.  There
is a long and keen criticism of the _Systeme Social_ by
Mme. d'Epinay in a letter to Abbe Galiani Jan. 12, 1773
(Gal. _Corresp._, Vol. II, p. 167).

But the most interesting reaction upon it was that of the Abbe
Richard who criticized it from point of view of the divine right
of kings in his long and tiresome work entitled _La Defense de
la religion, de la morale, de la vertu, de la politique et de
la societe, dans la refutation des ouvrages qui ont pour titre,
l'un Systeme Social etc.  Vautre La Politique Naturelle par le
R. P. Ch. L. Richard, Professeur de Theologie_, etc., Paris,
Moulard, 1775.

In a preface of forty-seven pages the fears of the conservative
old Abbe are well expressed.  The aim of these modern philosophers
who are poisoning public opinion by their writings is to "demolir
avec l'antique edifice de la religion chretienne, celui des moeurs,
de la vertu, de la saine politique etc. rompre tous les canaux de
communication entre la terre et le ciel, bannir, exterminer du monde
le Dieu qui le tira du neant, y introduire l'impiete la plus complete,
la licence la plus consomnee, l'anarchie la plus entiere, la confusion
la plus horrible."

17. Holbach's next work, _Ethocratie ou Gouvernement fonde
sur la Morale_, Amsterdam, Rey, 1776, is interesting mainly for
its unfortunate dedication and peroration, inscribed to Louis XVI,
who was hailed therein as a long expected Messiah.

18. Holbach's last works dealt exclusively with morals.  They
are _La morale universelle ou les devoirs de l'homme fondes sur
la nature_, Amsterdam, 1771, and

19. A posthumous work, _Elements de la Morale universelle, ou
catechisme de la nature_, Paris, 1790.  This is a beautiful
little book.  It is simple and clear to the last degree.
There have been several translations in Spanish for the purposes
of elementary education in morals in the public schools.  It was
composed in 1765.  Holbach's attitude towards morals is indicated
by his _Avertissement_--"La morale est une science dont les principes
sont susceptibles d'une demonstration aussi claire et aussi rigoureuse
que ceux du calcul et de la geometrie."




CHAPTER III.  THE SYSTEME DE LA NATURE.


Early in 1770 appeared the famous _Systeme de la Nature, ou Des Loix
du Monde Physique et du Monde Morale, Par M. Mirabaud, Secretaire
Perpetuel et l'un des Quarante de l'Academie Francaise_, Londres
(Amsterdam), 1770.  This work has gone through over thirty editions
in France, Spain, Germany, England and the United States.  No book
of a philosophic or scientific character has ever caused such a
sensation at the time of its publication, excepting perhaps Darwin's
_Origin of Species_, the thesis of which is more than hinted at by
Holbach.  There were several editions in 1770.  A very few copies
contain a _Discours preliminaire de l'Auteur_ of sixteen pages which
Naigeon had printed separately in London.  The _Abrege du Code de
la Nature_, which ends the book was also published separately and
is sometimes attributed to Diderot, 8vo, 16 pp. [54:1]

There is also a book entitled _Le vrai sens du Systeme de la Nature_,
1774, attributed to Helvetius, a very clear, concise epitome largely
in Holbach's own short and telling sentences, and much more effective
than the original because of its brevity.  Holbach himself reproduced
the _Systeme de la Nature_ in a shortened form in _Bon-sens_, 1772, and
Payrard plagiarized it freely in _De la Nature et de ses Lois_, Paris,
1773.  The book has been attributed to Diderot, Helvetius, Robinet,
Damilaville and others.  Naigeon is certain that it is entirely by
Holbach, although it is generally held that Diderot had a hand in it.
It was published under the name of Mirabaud to obviate persecution.
The manuscript, it was alleged, had been found among his papers as a
sort of "testament" or philosophical legacy to posterity.  This work
may be called the bible of scientific materialism and dogmatic atheism.
Nothing before or since has ever approached it in its open and
unequivocal insistence on points of view commonly held, if at all,
with reluctance and reserve.  It is impossible in a study of this
length to deal fully with the attacks and refutations that were
published immediately.  We may mention first the condemnation of the
book by the _Parlement de Paris_, August 18, 1770, to be burned by
the public hangman along with Voltaire's _Dieu et les Hommes_, and
Holbach's _Discours sur les Miracles_, _La Contagion sacree_ and
_le Christianisme devoile_, which had already been condemned on
September 24, 1769. [55:2]

The _Requisitoire_ of Seguier, _avocat general_, on the occasion
of the condemnation of the _Systeme de la Nature_ was so weak
and ridiculous that the _Parlement de Paris_ refused to sanction
its publication, and it was printed by the express order of the King.
As Grimm observed, it seemed designed solely to acquaint the ignorant
with this dangerous work, without opposing any of its propositions.
One would look in vain for a better example of the conservatism of
the legal profession. [55:3]

Le poison des nouveautes profanes ne peut corrompre la sainte
gravite des moeurs qui caracterise les vrais Magistrats:
tout peut changer autour d'eux, _ils restent immuables avec la
loi_ (page 496).

N'est-ce pas ce fatal abus de la liberte de penser, qui a enfante
cette multitude de sectes, d'opinions, de partis, et cet esprit
d'independance dont d'autres nations ont eprouve les sinstres
revolutions.  Le meme abus produira en France des effets peut-etre
plus funestes.  La liberte indefinie trouveroit, dans la caractere
de la nation, dans son activite, dans son amour pour la nouveaute,
un moyen de plus pour preparer les plus affreuses revolutions (p. 498).

The most interesting private attacks on the _Systeme de la Nature_
came from two somewhat unexpected quarters, from Ferney and Sans Souci.
Voltaire, as usual, was not wholly consistent in his opinions of it,
as is revealed in his countless letters on the subject.  Grimm
attributed his hostility to jealousy, and the fear that the
_Systeme de la Nature_ might "renverse le rituel de Ferney et
que le patriarcat ne s'en aille au diable avec lui." [56:4]
George Leroy went so far as to write a book entitled _Reflexions
sur la jalousie, pour servir de commentaire aux derniers ouvrages
de M. de Voltaire_, 1772.  Frederick II naturally felt bound to
defend the kings who, as Voltaire said, were no better treated than
God in the _Systeme de la Nature_. [56:5]

Voltaire's correspondence during this period is so interesting that
it seems worth while to quote at length, especially from his letters
to Fredrick the Great.  In May 1770, shortly after the publication
of the _Systeme de la Nature_ Voltaire wrote to M. Vernes: [56:6]
"On a tant dit de sottises sur la nature que je ne lis plus aucun
de ces livres la."  But by July he had read it and wrote to Grimm: [56:7]
"Si l'ouvrage eut ete plus serre il aurait fait un effet terrible,
mais tel qu'il est il en a fait beaucoup.  Il est bien plus eloquent
que Spinoza... J'ai une grande curiosite de savoir ce qu'on en pense
a Paris."  In writing to d'Alembert about this time he seemed to have
a fairly favorable impression of the book.  "Il m'a paru qu'il y avait
des longueurs, des repetitions et quelques inconsequences, mais il y a
trop de bon pour qu'on n'eclate avec fureur contre ce livre.  Si on
garde le silence, ce sera une preuve du prodigieux progres que la
tolerance fait tous les jours." [57:8]  But there was little likelihood
that philosophers or theologians would keep silent about this scandalous
book.  Before the end of the month Voltaire was writing to d'Alembert
about his own and the king of Prussia's refutations of it, and the same
day wrote to Frederick: "Il me semble que vos remarques doivent etre
imprimees; ce sont des lecons pour le genre humain.  Vous soutenez d'un
bras la cause de Dieu et vous ecrasez de l'autre la superstition." [57:9]
Later Voltaire confessed to Frederick that he also had undertaken to
rebuke the author of the Systeme de la Nature.  "Ainsi Dieu a pour
lui les deux hommes les moins superstitieux de l'Europe, ce que devrait
lui plaire beaucoup" (p. 390).

Frederick, however, hesitated to make his refutation public, and
wrote to Voltaire: "Lorsque j'eus acheve mon ouvrage contre
l'atheisme, je crus ma refutation tres orthodoxe, je la relus,
et je la trouvai bien eloignee de l'etre.  Il y a des endroits
qui ne saurait paraitre sans effaroucher les timides et scandaliser
les devots.  Un petit mot qui m'est echappe sur l'eternite du monde
me ferait lapider dans votre patrie, si j'y etais ne particulier,
et que je l'eusse fait imprimer.  Je sens que je n'ai point du
tout ni l'ame ni le style theologique." [57:10]  Voltaire, in his
"petite drolerie en faveur de la Divinite" (as he called his work)
and in his letters, could not find terms harsh enough in which to
condemn the _Systeme de la Nature_.  He called it "un chaos, un
grand mal moral, un ouvrage de tenebres, un peche contre la nature,
un systeme de la folie et de l'ignorance," and wrote to Delisle de
Sales: "Je ne vois pas que rien ait plus avili notre siecle que
cette enorme sottise." [58:11]  Voltaire seemed to grow more bitter
about Holbach's book as time went on.  His letters and various works
abound in references to it, and it is difficult to determine his
motives.  He was accused, as has been suggested, by Holbach's circle
"de caresser les gens en place, et d'abandonner ceux qui n'y sont
plus." [58:12]  M. Avenel believed that he suspected Holbach himself
of making these accusations.  Voltaire's letter to the Duc de Richelieu,
Nov. 1, 1770, [58:13] seems to give them foundation.

A very different reaction was that of Goethe and his university
circle at Strasburg to whom the _Systeme de la Nature_ appeared
a harmless and uninteresting book, "grau," "cimmerisch," "totenhaft,"
"die echte Quintessenz der Greisenheit."  To these fervent young men
in the youthful flush of romanticism, its sad, atheistic twilight
seemed to cast a veil over the beauty of the earth and rob the heaven
of stars; and they lightheardedly discredited both Holbach and Voltaire
in favor of Shakespeare and the English romantic school.  One would
look far for a better instance of the romantic reaction which set in
so soon and so obscured the clarity of the issues at stake in the
eighteenth century thought. [58:14]

The leading refutations directed explicitly against the
_Systeme de la Nature_ are:

1. 1770, Rive, Abbe J. J., Lettres philosophiques contre le
_ Systeme de la Nature_. (Portefeuille hebdomadaire de Bruxelles.)

2. Frederick II, _Examen critique du livre intitule,
_Systeme de la Nature_. (Political Miscellanies, p. 175.)

3. Voltaire, Dieu, Reponse de M. de Voltaire au _Systeme de la Nature_.
Au chateau de Ferney, 1770, 8 vo, pp. 34.

4. 1771, Bergier, Abbe N. F., Examen du materialisme, ou
Refutation du _Systeme de la Nature_.  Paris, Humbolt, 1771,
2 vols., 12mo.

5. Camuset, Abbe J. N., Principes contre l'incredulite, a
l'occasion du _Systeme de la Nature_.  Paris, Pillot, 1771,
12mo, pp. viii + 335.

6. Castillon, J. de (Salvernini di Castiglione), Observations sur
le livre intitule, _Systeme de la Nature_.  Berlin, Decker, 1771,
8vo. (40 sols broche.)

7. Rochford, Dubois de, Pensees diverses contre le systeme des
materialistes, a l'occasion d'un ecrit intitule; _Systeme de la
Nature_.  Paris, Lambert, 1771, 12mo.

8. 1773, L'Impie demasque, ou remontrance aux ecrivains incredules.
Londres, Heydinger, 1773

9. Holland, J. H., Reflexions philosophiques sur le _Systeme de
la Nature_. Paris, 1773, 2 vols., 8vo.

10. 1776, Buzonniere, Nouel de, Observations sur un ouvrage intitule
le _Systeme de la Nature_.  Paris, Debure, pere, 1776, 8vo, pp. 126.
(Prix 1 livre, 16 sols broche.)

11. 1780, Fangouse, Abbe, La religion prouvee aux incredules, avec
une lettre a l'auteur du _Systeme de la Nature_ par un homme du monde.
Paris, Debure l'aine, 12mo, p. 150.  Same under title Reflexions
importantes sur la religion, etc., 1785.

12. 1788, Paulian, A. J., Le veritable systeme de la nature, etc.,
Avignon, Niel, 2 vols., 12mo.

13. 1803, Mangold, F. X. von, Unumstossliche Widerlegung des
Materialismus gegen den Verfasser des _Systems der Natur_.
Augsburg, 1803.


Of these and other refutations of materialism such as Saint-Martin's
_Des erreurs et de la verite_, Dupont de Nemours' _Philosophie de
l'univers_, Delisles de Sales'  _Philosophie de la nature_, etc.,
which are not directed explicitly against the _Systeme de la Nature_,
the works of Voltaire and Frederick the Great are the most interesting
but by no means the most serious or convincing.  Morley finds Voltaire
very weak and much beside the point, especially in his discussion of
order and disorder in nature which Holbach had denied.  Voltaire's
argument is that there must be an intelligent motor or cause behind
nature (p. 7).  This is God (p. 8).  He admits at the outset that all
systems are mere dreams but he continues to insist with a dogmatism
equal to Holbach's on the validity of his dream.  He repeatedly asserts
without foundation that Holbach's system is based on the false experiment
of Needham (pp. 5, 6), and even goes so far as to ridicule the
evolutionary hypothesis altogether (p. 6).  He speaks of the necessity
of a belief in God, by a kind of natural logic.  God and matter exist
in the nature of things, "Tout nous announce un Etre supreme, rien ne
nous dit ce qu'il est."  God himself seems to be a kind of fatalistic
necessity.  "C'est ce que vous appellerez Nature et c'est ce que j'appelle
Dieu."  At the end he shifts the argument from the base of necessity to
that of utility.  Which is the more consoling doctrine?  If the idea of
God has prevented ten crimes I hold that the entire world should embrace
it (p. 27).  As Morley has said, such arguments could scarcely have
convinced Voltaire himself.

Frederick was surprised that Voltaire and D'Alembert had found anything
good in the book.  His refutation was more methodical than that of
Voltaire, who called it a "homage to the Divinity" but wrote to D'Alembert
that it was written in the style of a notary.  Two other refutations
emanating from the Academy of Berlin were those of Castillon and Holland.
The first of these is a very heavy and learned work, formidable and
forbidding in its logic.  Castillon reduces Holbach's propositions to
three.  The self-existence of matter, the essential relation of movement
to it, and the possibility of deriving everything from it or some mode of
it.  Castillon concludes after five hundred pages of reasoning that matter
is contingent, movement not inherent in it, and that purely spiritual beings
exist in independence of it.  Hence the _Systeme de la Nature_ is a "long
and wicked error."  Holland's is a still more serious work, which the
Sorbonne recommended strongly as an antidote against Holbach's _Systeme_
which it qualified as "une malheureuse production que notre siecle doit
rougir d'avoir enfantee."  But when it was discovered that Holland was a
Protestant his work was condemned forthwith, Jan. 17, 1773.

Bergier's refutation is interesting as an attack from a churchman of
extraordinary keenness and insight into the progress of the new
philosophy.  In the _Systeme de la Nature_ he recognized the hand
of the author of _La Contagion sacree_ and the _Essai sur les prejuges_
and dealt with it as he did the _Christianisme devoile_.  Buzonniere,
Rochfort and Fangouse are milder and more naive in their demonstrations
and their works are of no weight or interest.  _L'Impie demasque_ is a
brutal work which qualifies Holbach as a "vile apostle of vice and crime,"
and the _Systeme de la Nature_ as the most impudent treatise on atheism
that has yet dishonored the globe--one which covers the century with
shame and will be the scandal of future generations.

The work of Paulian is of a different sort.  Coming comparatively late,
it attempted to review the hostile opinions of many years and then mass
them in an overwhelming final attack on the _Systeme de la Nature_.  To
this end Paulian rewrites the entire book chapter by chapter, giving the
"true version."  He then reviews Holland's outline and Bergier's comments,
together with seven articles directed explicitly against the _Systeme de
la Nature_ in such works as the _Lettres Helviennes_, of Abbe Barruel,
_Dict. des Philosophes_, _Dict. anti-philosophe_, his own _Dict.
theologique_, etc., besides many other writings against the new philosophy
in general.  He then reviews articles by members of the philosophic
school against materialism and then goes back to Holbach's sources,
Diderot, Bayle, Spinoza, Lucretius, Epicurus, etc.  The work is not
scholarly but comprehensive and evidently discouraged further formal
refutations.

The _Systeme de la Nature_ had many critics in the stormy days that
followed 1789.  Delisle de Sales found it a monstrosity--a _fratras_;
La Harpe called it an infamous book, "un amas de betises qu'on ose
appeler philosophie, inconcevables inepties, un immense echafaudage
de mensonge et d'invective"; M. Villemain is much more calm and fair;
Lord Brougham, like Damiron, Buzonniere, and many others, found it
seductive but full of false reasoning; Lerminier was so severe that
St.-Beuve was moved to defend Holbach against him.  Samuel Wilkinson,
the English translator of 1820, is one of the few whose criticism is
at all favorable.  Holbach has always appealed to a certain type of
radical mind and his translators and editors have generally been men
who were often over-enthusiastic.  For example, Mr. Wilkinson says of
the _Systeme de la Nature_, [64:15] "No work, ancient or modern, has
surpassed it in the eloquence and sublimity of its language or in the
facility with which it treats the most abstruse and difficult subjects.
It is without exception the boldest effort the human mind has yet
produced in the investigation of Morals and Theology.  The republic
of letters has never produced another author whose pen was so well
calculated to emancipate mankind from all those trammels with which
the nurse, the school master, and the priest have successively locked
up their noblest faculties, before they were capable of reasoning and
judging for themselves."

It seems unnecessary to analyze the _Systeme de la Nature_.  This
has been done by Damiron, Soury, Fabre, Lange, Morley, the historians
of philosophy, and encyclopaedists; and the book itself is easily
available in the larger libraries.  The substance of Holbach's philosophy
is susceptible of clearer treatment apart from it or any one of his
books, although it permeates all of them.

M. Jules Soury has said, in describing a certain type of mind: "Il
est d'heureux esprits, des ames fortes et saines, que n'effraie point
le silence eternel des espaces infinis ou s'aneantissait la raison de
Pascal.  Naives et robustes natures, males et vigoureux penseurs, qui
gardent toute la vie quelque chose des dons charmants de la jeunesse et
de l'enfance meme, une foi vive dans le temoinage immediat de nos sens
et de notre conscience, une humeur alerte, toute de joyeuse ardeur, et
comme une intrepidite d'esprit que rien n'arrete.  Pour eux tout est
clair et uni; ou a peu pres, et la ou ils soupconnent quelque bas-bond
insondable, ils se detournent et poursuivent fierement leur chemin.  Comme
cet Epicurien dont parle Ciceron au commencement du _De natura deorum_,
ils ont toujours l'air de sortir de l'assemblee des dieux et de descendre
des intermondes d'Epicure."

Such was Holbach.  His philosophy is based on the child-like assumption
that things are as they seem, provided they are observed with sufficient
care by a sufficient number of people.  This brings us at once to the
very heart of Holbach's method which was experimental and inductive to
the last degree.  Holbach was nourished on what might be called
scientific rather than philosophical traditions.  As M. Tourneux has
pointed out, he had been a serious student of the natural sciences,
especially those connected with the constitution of the earth.  These
studies led him to see the disparity between certain accepted and
traditional cosmologies and a scientific interpretation of the
terrestrial globe and the forms of life which flourish upon it.
Finding the supposed sacred and infallible records untrustworthy in
one regard, he began to question their veracity at other points.
Being of a critical frame of mind, he took the records rather more
literally than a sympathetic, allegorical apologist would have done,
although it cannot be said that he used much historical insight.
After having studied the sacred texts for purposes of writing or having
translated other men's studies on Moses, David, the Prophets, Jesus,
Paul, the Christian theologians and saints, miracles, etc., he concluded
that these accounts were untrustworthy and mendacious.  He knew ancient
and modern philosophy and found in the greater part of it an unwarranted
romantic or theological trend which his scientific training had caused
him to suspect.  It must be admitted that however false or illogical
Holbach's conclusions may be considered, he was by no means ignorant of
the subjects he chose to treat, as some of his detractors would have one
believe.  His theory of knowledge was that of Locke and Condillac, and
on this foundation he built up his system of scientific naturalism
and dogmatic atheism.

His initial assumption is, as has been suggested, that experience
(application reiteree des sens) and reason are trustworthy guides
to knowledge.  By them we become conscious of an external objective
world, of which sentient beings themselves are a part, from which
they receive impressions through their sense organs.  These myriad
impressions when compared and reflected upon form reasoned knowledge
or truth, provided they are substantiated by repeated experiences
carefully made.  That is, an idea is said to be true when it conforms
perfectly with the actual external object.  This is possible unless
one's senses are defective, or one's judgment vitiated by emotion
and passion.

Holbach's contention is that if one applies experience and reason
to the external universe, or nature, "ce vaste assemblage de tout
ce qui existe"; it reveals a _single objective reality_, i. e.,
_matter_, which is in itself essentially active or in a state of motion.

From matter in motion are derived all the phenomena that strike our
senses.  All is matter or a function of it.  Matter, then, is not
an effect, but a cause.  It is not caused; it is from eternity and
of necessity.  The cardinal point in Holbach's philosophy is an
inexorable materialistic necessity.  Nothing, then, is exempt from
the laws of physics and chemistry.  Inorganic substance and organic
life fall into the same category.  Man himself with all his differentiated
faculties is but a function of matter and motion in extraordinary
complex and involved relations.  Man's imputation to himself of free
will and unending consciousness apart from his machine is an idle tale
built on his desires, not on his experiences nor his knowledge of nature.
This imputation of a will or soul to nature, independent of it or in
any sense above it, is a still more idle one derived from his renunciation
of the witness of his senses and his following after the phantoms of
his imagination.  It is ignorance or disregard of nature then that has
given rise to supernatural ideas that have "no correspondence with true
sight," or, as Holbach expressed it, have no counterpart in the external
object.  In other words, theology, or poetry about God, as Petrarch
said, is ignorance of natural causes reduced to a system.

Man is a purely natural or physical being, like a tree or a stone.
His so-called spiritual nature (l'homme moral) is merely a phase
of his physical nature considered under a special aspect.  He is
all matter in motion, and when that ceases to function in a particular
way, called life, he ceases to be as a conscious entity.  He is so
organized, however that his chief desires are to survive and render
his existence happy.  By happiness Holbach means the presence of
pleasure and the absence of pain.  In all his activity, then, man
will seek pleasure and avoid pain.  The chief cause of man's misery
or lack of well being is his ignorance of the powers and possibilities
of his own nature and the Universal Nature.  All he needs is to
ascertain his place in nature and adjust himself to it.  From the
beginning of his career he has been the dupe of false ideas, especially
those connected with supernatural powers, on whom he supposed he was
dependent.  But, if ignorance of nature gave birth to the Gods,
knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them and the evils
resulting from them, the introduction of theistic ideas into politics
and morals.  In a word, the truth, that is, _correct ideas of nature_
is the one thing needful to the happiness and well-being of man.

The application of these principles to the given situation in France
in 1770 would obviously have produced unwelcome results.  Holbach's
theory was that religion was worse than useless in that it had
inculcated false and pernicious ideas in politics and morals.  He
would do away completely with it in the interest of putting these
sciences on a natural basis.  This basis is self-interest, or man's
inevitable inclination toward survival and the highest degree of
well-being, "L'objet de la morale est de faire connaitre aux hommes
que leur plus grand interet exige qu'ils pratiquent la vertu; le but
du gouvernement doit etre de la leur faire pratiquer."

Government then assumes the functions of moral restraint
formally delegated to religion; and punishments render virtue
attractive and vice repugnant.  Holbach's theory of social
organization is practically that of Aristotle.  Men combine in order
to increase the store of individual well-being, to live the good
life.  If those to whom society has delegated sovereignty abuse
their power, society has the right to take it from them.  Sovereignty
is merely an agent for the diffusion of truth and the maintenance
of virtue, which are the prerequisites of social and individual
well-being.  The technique of progress is enlightenment and good laws.

Nothing could be clearer or simpler than Holbach's system.  As
Diderot so truly said, he will not be quoted on both sides of any
question.  His uncompromising atheism is the very heart and core
of his system and clarifies the whole situation.  All supernatural
ideas are to be abandoned.  Experience and reason are once for all
made supreme, and henceforth refuse to share their throne or abdicate
in favor of faith.  Holbach's aim was as he said to bring man back to
nature and render reason dear to him.  "Il est tempts que cette raison
injustement degradee quitte un ton pusillamine qui la rendront complice
du mensonge et du delire."

If reason is to rule, the usurper, religion, must be ejected; hence
atheism was fundamental to his entire system.  He did not suppose
by any means that it would become a popular faith, because it
presupposed too much learning and reflection, but it seemed to him
the necessary weapon of a reforming party at that time.  He defines
an atheist as follows: "C'est un homme, qui detruit des chimeres
nuisibles au genre humain, pour ramener les hommes a la nature, a
l'experience, a la raison.  C'est un penseur qui, ayant medite la
matiere, ses proprietes et ses facons d'agir, n'a pas besoin, pour
expliquer les phenomenes de l'univers et les operations de la nature,
d'imaginer des puissances ideales, des intelligences imaginaires, des
etres de raison; qui loin de faire mieux connaitre cette nature, ne
font que la rendre capricieuse, inexplicable, et meconnaissable,
inutile au bonheur des hommes."




APPENDIX

HOLBACH'S CORRESPONDENCE


The following letters of Holbach are extant:

Holbach to Hume, Aug. 23, 1763.
Holbach to Hume, Mar. 16, 1766.
Holbach to Hume, July 7, 1766.
Holbach to Hume, Aug. 18, 1766.
Holbach to Hume, Sept. 7, 1766.

These were printed in Hume's _Private Correspondence_, London, 1820,
pp. 252-263, and deal largely with Hume's quarrel with Rousseau.

Holbach to Garrick, June 16, 1765.
Holbach to Garrick, Feb. 9, 1766.

These two letters are in manuscript in Lansdowne House,
Coll. Forster, and were published by F. A. Hedgcock,
_David Garrick et ses amis francais_. Paris, 1911, pp. 251-253.

Holbach to Wilkes, Aug., 1746, 9 (Brit. Mus. Mss., Vol. 30867, p. 14).
Holbach to Wilkes, Dec. 10, 1746 (Brit. Mus. Mss., Vol. 30867, p. 18).
Holbach to Wilkes, May 22, 1766 (Brit. Mus. Mss., Vol. 30869, p. 39)
Holbach to Wilkes, Nov. 9, 1766 (Brit. Mus. Mss., Vol. 30869, p. 81).
Holbach to Wilkes, Dec. 10, 1767 (Brit. Mus. Mss., Vol. 30869, p. 173).
Holbach to Wilkes, July 17, 1768 (Brit. Mus. Mss., Vol. 30870, p. 59).
Holbach to Wilkes, Mar. 19, 1770 (Brit. Mus. Mss., Vol. 30871, p. 16).
Holbach to Wilkes, April 27, 1775, 9 (Wilkes, _Correspondence_,
 London, 1804, Vol. IV, p. 176).

The first seven of these letters are published for the first time
in the present volume, pp. 6-11 and pp. 75-80.

Holbach to Galiani, Aug. 11, 1769 (_Critica_, Vol. I, pp. 488 sq.).

Galiani to Holbach, April 7, 1770 (Galiani, _Correspondence_, Paris,
1890, Vol. I, p. 92).

Galiani to Holbach, July 21, 1770 (Galiani, _Correspondence_, Paris,
1890, Vol. I, p. 199).

Holbach to Galiani, Aug. 25, 1770 (_Critica_, Vol. I, p. 489).


There are references to other letters in _Critica_ which I have not
been able to find.

Holbach to Beccaria, Mar. 15, 1767, published by M. Landry
_Beccaria, Scritte e lettre inediti_, 1910, p. 146.

Holbach to Malesherbes, April 6, 1761 (hitherto unpublished). See
present volume, p. 30.


HOLBACH TO HUME
(Hume, Private Correspondence, London, 1820, pp. 252-263)
PARIS, the 23rd. of August, 1763

_Sir,_--
I have received with the deepest sense of gratitude your very kind
and obliging letter of the 8th. inst: favors of great men ought to
give pride to those that have at least the merit of setting the value
that is due upon them.  This is my case with you, sir; the reading
of your valuable works has not only inspired me with the strongest
admiration for your genius and amiable parts, but gave me the highest
idea of your person and the strongest desire of getting acquainted
with one of the greatest philosophers of my age, and of the best friend
to mankind.  These sentiments have emboldened me to send formally,
though unknown to you, the work you are mentioning to me.  I thought
you were the best to judge of such a performance, and I took only
the liberty of giving a hint of my desires, in case it should meet
with your approbation, nor was I surprized, or presumed to be
displeased, at seeing my wishes disappointed.  The reasons appeared
very obvious to me; not withstanding the British liberty, I conceived
there were limits even to it.  However, my late friend's book has
appeared since and there is even an edition of it lately done in
England: I believe it will be relished by the friends of truth,
who like to see vulgar errors struck at the root.  This has been
your continued task, sir; and you deserve for it the praises of all
sincere wellwishers of humanity: give me leave to rank myself among
them, and express to you, by this opportunity you have been so kind
as to give me, the fervent desire we have to see you in this country.
Messrs. Stuart, Dempster, Fordyce, who are so good as to favor me
with their company, have given me some hopes of seeing you in this
metropolis, where you have so many admirers as readers, and as many
sincere friends as there are disciples of philosophy.  I don't doubt
but my good friend M. Helvetius will join in our wishes, and prevail
upon you to come over.  I assure you, sir, you won't perceive much
the change of the country, for all countries are alike for people that
have the same minds.

I am, with the greatest veneration and esteem, sir, your most
obedient and most humble servant.
	D'HOLBACH.
	Rue Royale, butte St. Roch, a Paris.


HOLBACH To GARRICK
(Coll. Forster, Vol. XXI; pub., Hedgcock, p. 253)
PARIS, Feb ye 9th, 1766.

I received, my very Dear Sir, with a great deal of pleasure, your
agreeable letter of ye 24th of January, but was very sorry to hear
that you are inlisted in the numerous troup of _gouty_ people.  Tho'
I have myself the honour of being of that tribe I dont desire my
friends should enter into the same corporation.  I am particularly
griev'd to see you among the invalids for you have, more than any
other, occasion for the free use of your limbs.  However, don't be
cross and peevish for that would be only increasing you distemper;
and I charge you especially of not scolding that admirable lady
Mrs Garrick, whose sweetness of temper and care must be a great
comfort in your circumstances.  I beg leave to present her with my
respects and ye compliments of my wife, that has enjoyed but an
indifferent state of health, owing to the severity of the winter.
Mr and Made Helvetius desire you both their best wishes and so do
all your friends, for whom I can answer that every one of them
keeps a kind remembrance of your valuable persons.  Dr. Gem thinks
you'll do very well to go to Bath, but his opinion is that a thin
diet would be more serviceable to you than anything else; believe
he is in the right.  Abbe Morellet pays many thanks for the answers
to his queries, but complains of their shortness and laconism;
however it is not your fault.  He is glad to hear you have receiv'd
his translation of Beccaria's book, _Des delits et des peines_ and
the compliments of our friend Dr Gatti to whom I gave your direction
before he went to London.  Our friend Suard has entered his neck into
the matrimonial halter; we are all of us very sorry for it for we know
that nothing combin'd with love, will at last make nothing at all.

I was not much surpris'd at the particulars you are pleas'd to mention
about Rousseau.  According to the thorough knowledge I have had of
him I look on that man as a mere philosophical quack, full of
affectation, of pride, of oddities and even villainies; the work he
is going to publish justifies the last imputation.  Is his memory so
short as to forget that Mr Grimm, for those 9 years past, has taken
care of the mother of his wench or _gouvernante_ whom he left to starve
here after having debauch'd her daughter and having got her 3 or 4
times with child.  That great philosopher should remember that
Mr. Grimm has in his hands letters under his own hand-writing that
prove him the most ungrateful dogg in the world.  During his last
stay in Paris he made some attempts to see Mr Diderot, and being
refused that favor, he pretended that Diderot endeavoured to see
him, but that himself had refused peremptorily to comply with his
request.  I hope these particulars will suffice to let you know what
you are to think of that illustrious man.  I send you here a copy of
a letter supposed to come from the King of Prussia, but done by
Mr Horace Walpole, whereby you'll see that gentleman has found out
his true character.  But enough of that rascal who deserves not to be
in Mr Hume's company but rather among the bears, if there are any in
the mountains of Wales.

I am surprized you have not receiv'd yet the _Encyclopedie_, for a
great number of copies have been sent over already to England unless
you have left your subscription here, where hitherto not one copy has
been delivered for prudent reasons.

We have had in the French Comedy a new play called _Le Philosophie sans
le savoir_ done and acted in a new stile, quite natural and moving: it
has a prodigious success and deserves it extremely well.  Marmontel
will give us very soon upon the Italian stage his comical opera of
_La Bergere des Alpes_.  I hope it will prove very agreeable to the
Publick, having been very much delighted by the rehearsal of it; the
music was done by Mr Cohaut who teaches my wife to play on the luth.
We expect a tragedy of the Dutch Barnvelt.

Mr Wilkes is still in this town, where he intends to stay until you
give him leave to return to his native country.  We have had the
pleasure of seeing Mr Chanquion, your friend, who seems to be a very
discerning gentleman and to whom in favor of your friendship I have
shown all the politeness I could.  I hear that Sr James Macdonald has
been ill at Parma, but is now recovered and in Rome.  Abbe Galliani is
still at Naples and stands a fair chance of being employ'd in the
ministry there.

Adieu, very dear Sir and remember your affectionate friend
	D'HOLBACH


HOLBACH TO WILKES
(Brit. Mus. Mss., Vol. 30869, p. 39)
PARIS the 22d Of May (1766)

_My dear Sir_

I am extremely glad to know your lucky passage and happy arrival
in your native country.  I hope you know too well the sincere
dispositions of my heart as to doubt of the friendship I have
vowed to you for life; it has been of too long a duration to be
shaken by any circumstances, and especially by those that do honor
to you.  I shall be very happy if your affairs (that seem to be in
a fair way) permit you to drop over very soon to spend some time
in this place along with Miss Wilkes to whom Made D'Holbach and I
pay our best compliments.  I can easily paint to my imagination
the pleasure you both felt at your first meeting; everybody that
has any sensibility must be acquainted with the grateful pangs in
those moving circumstances.

Your case with the hawker at your entry in London is very odd and
whimsical you did extremely well to humour the man in his opinion
about Mr. Wilkes.  I dare say if you had done otherwise his fist
would have convinc'd you of the goodness of your cause, and then it
would have been impossible for you to pass for a dead man any longer;
which however, I think was very necessary for you in the beginning.
I expect with great eagerness the settlement of your affairs with
the ministry to your own satisfaction; be persuaded, Dear Sir, that
nobody interests himself in your happiness than myself, and nothing
will conduce more to it than your steady attachment to the principles
of honor and patriotism.

If you don't find a way of disposing of the little packet, you need
not take much trouble about it, and you may bring it back along with
you, when you come to this place, as to the kind offers you are so
good as to make me about commissions, experience has taught me that
it is unsafe to trust you with them, so I beg leave with gratitude
to decline your proposals as that point.

All our common friends and acquaintances desire their best
compliments to you, and believe me, my dear Sir.

	Your affectionate oblig'd humble servant
	D'HOLBACH


HOLBACH TO WILKES
(Brit. Mus. Mss., VOL 30869, p. 81)
PARIS 9ber 10th 1766

_My very Dear Sir_

I receiv'd with the greatest pleasure the news of your lucky arrival
in Engelland.  You know the sentiments of my heart, and are undoubtedly
convinc'd how much I wish for the good success of all your enterprises
tho I am to be a great looser by it.  I rejoice very heartily at the
fine prospect you have now in view and don't doubt but the persons you
mention will succeed if they are in good earnest: which is allways a
little doubtful in people of that Kidney.

We have had the pleasure of seeing Miss Wilkes three or four times since
your departure, she is extreamly well and longs for the return of her
friend Mlle Helvetius the 20th of this month.

Rousseau will very likely hate the English very cordially for making
him pay so dear for his books, it is however a sign that he told us a
lye when he pretended in his writings to have no books at all, as to
his guitar he should buy a new one to tune his heart a little better
than he did before.

We have no news here, except the Election of Mr Thomas as a member of
the french academy.  Marquis Beccaria is going to leave us very soon
being obliged to return to Milan: Count Veri will at the same time set
out for England.

I'll be oblig'd to you for a copy or two of the book printed in holland
you mentioned in your letter you may send it by some private opportunity
to Miss Wilkes, with, proper directions.  A gentleman of our Society
should be glad to get 2 copies of Baskervilles' virgil _in octavo_.

Tho Mr Davenport and Rousseau seem to be pleased very much with one
another, I suppose they may very soon be tired of their squabbling,
and the latter like the apostles will shake of against the barbarous
Britons the dust of his feet.

Receive the hearty compliments of my wife and all our friends.  You
know the true sentiments of my heart for you,
Dear Sir.  I am with great sincerity
	your most obedient humble Servant
	D'HOLBACH


HOLBACH TO WILKES
(Brit. Mus. Mss., Vol. 30869, p. 173)

_Dear Sir_

I receiv'd with a great deal of pleasure your friendly letter from
Ostende of the 26th. nov. I was extreamly glad to hear your happy
arrival at that place, and do not doubt but you met with a lucky
passage to Dover the following day, we are now enjoying the conversation
of your British friends about elections; that will not be tedious for
you if, according to your hopes, you should succeed in your projects.

I see by your letter that instead of coming back directly by Calais
you intend to travel with Miss Wilkes through Antwerp and the Low
countries, which I should think not very advisable in this rigorous
season of the year, for generally at that time the waters are lock'd
up by the frost and travelling is bad et tedious and may be would
prove hurtful to your tender fellow traveler to whom my wife and I
desire our best compliments.  Such a scheme will be more advantagious
for you both and more conformable to the wishes of your friends in
this place.

I hope your arrival in London will contribute to reconcile abbe
Galliani to that place, where he complains of having not heard of
the sun since he set his foot on British shore, however he may
comfort himself for we have had very little of it in this country.
The Abbe must be overjoy'd at the news of the Jesuits being expell'd
from his Native country for now he may say _Gens inimica mihi 
Tyrrhenum navigat aquor_.  We have no material news in this country,
except that the queen continues to be in a very bad state of health.

If there is some good new romance I'll be oblig'd to bring it over
along with you as, well as a couple of french books call'd
_Militaire philosophe_ and _Theologie portative_ in case you may
easily find them in London, for we cannot get them here.  I am told
the works of one Morgan have been esteem'd in your country but I don't
know the titles of them, if you should know them and meet with them
with facility, I should be very much oblig'd to you provided you make
me pay a little more than you have done hitherto for your commissions.

All our common friends beg their compliments and I wish for your
speedy return, and I am Sincerely
Dear Sir
	Your faithful affectionate humble servant
	D'HOLBACH
PARIS the 10th of decemb. 1767



HOLBACH TO WILKES
(Brit. Mus. Mss., Vol. 30870, p. 59)
GRANDVAL, 17th of July 1768

_Dear Sir_

I receiv'd with a great deal of pleasure your very agreeable letter
of the 28th of last month.  I am extreamly glad that your generous
soul is very far from sinking under the weight of these Misfortunes,
and to see that you don't give up the hopes of carrying triumphantly
your point notwithstanding the discouragements you have met with lately.
I need not tell you how much your friends in Paris and I in particular
interest ourselves in all the events that may befall you.  Our old
friendship ought to be a sure pledge of my sincere sentiments for you,
and of my best wishes for your good success in all your undertakings.
I believe you can do no better but to keep strictly to the rules you
have laid down for your conduct, and I don't doubt but you'll find it
will answer the best to your purpose.

I am very much oblig'd to you, Dear Sir, for the kind offers you make
in your friendly letter.  I have desir'd already Mr Suard to bring over
a few books lately published in your metropolis.  I am very glad to hear
that Gentleman is pleas'd with his journey.

There's no possibility of getting for you a compleat sett of Callots
engravings.  Such a collection must be the business of many years; it
is to be found only after the decease of some curious men who have taken
a great deal of trouble to collect them.  I found indeed in two shops 8
or 10 of them, but the proofs (les epreuves) were very indifferent and
they wanted to sell them excessively dear; in general 200 guineas would
procure a collection very far from being compleat.

My wife and all our common acquaintence desire their best compliments
to you and to Miss Wilkes and you know the sentiments wherewith I am
for ever
Dear Sir
	your affectionate friend and
	very humble servant
	D'HOLBACH


HOLBACH TO WILKES
(Brit. Mus. Mss., Vol. 30871, p. 16)
PARIS the 19th of March 1770

_Dear Sir_

I receiv'd with a due sense of gratitude the favour of your last
letter, and was overjoy'd to hear from yourself that your long
confinement has not been able hitherto to obstruct the lively flow
of your spirits.  A little more patience and you'll reach the end
of all your misfortunes, that have been faithfully partaken by your
friends in England and abroad, for my own part I wish most sincerely
that everything for the future may turn to your profit and welfare,
without hurting that of your country, to whom, as a lover of mankind,
I am a well wisher.

My wife desires her best compliments to you and your beloved Daughter,
whom we both expect to see again with a great deal of pleasure in
this country next month.  Notwithstanding our bad circumstances we
are making very great preparations for the Wedding of the Dauphin,
and our metropolis begins already to be filled with foreigners that
flock hither from all parts of the world.  Our friend Mr D'Alainville
is to set out at the end of April to fetch the Archdutchess at
Strasbourg and bring mask (ed) (?) her different stages on the road
to Versailles.

We have no news in the literary world except that Voltaire
is become lately _le pere temporal_, that is to say the benefactor
of the _Capucins du pays de Gex_ where he lives, a title of which
all his pranks seemd to exclude him, but grace you know, is omnipotent,
and monks are not over nice when there is something to be got by
their condescension.

If the hurry of affairs whould leave you any moments to read
curious books I would advise you to peruse two very strange
works lately publish'd viz _Recherches philosophiques sur les
americains_, le _Systeme de la Nature_ par Mirabaud.  I suppose
you'll find them cheaper and more easily in London that at
Paris.

All your late acquaintances in this Town desire me to present
you with their sincere compliments and best wishes; as to mine
you know that they have no other object but your Welfare.

I am, Dear Sir, for ever
	your most affectionate friend
	and humble servant
	D'HOLBACH

P. S. I'll be very much oblig'd to you for sending over to me in
2 vol. small octavo.



HOLBACH TO WILKES
(Wilkes, Correspondence, London, 1805, Vol. 4, p. 176)
PARIS, April 27; 1775

"_My Lord_,

"I received with the utmost gratitude your lordship's friendly
letter of the 28th of March. (1775?)  I should have done
myself the honor of answering sooner to your kind propositions,
if I had not been prevented by some gouty infirmities that have
assailed in the beginning of this spring.  I esteem myself very
happy to find that the hurry of business, and your exhaltation
to the rank of chief-magistrate, could not make you forget your
friendship to me; though my present circumstances do not permit
me to make use of your friendly invitation, be persuaded my very
dear lord that Madame D'Holbach and myself shall forever keep
these signs of your kindness, in very grateful remembrance.

We both desire our best compliments to your very amiable
lady-mayoress: who acted so well her part lately in the Egyptian
hall, to the satisfaction of that prodigious crowd you have
been entertaining there.  All members of our society that have
had the happiness of being acquainted with you, desire to be
kindly remembered; and a continuation of your valuable friendship
shall for ever be the utmost ambition
	my lord
	of your most sincerely devoted
	D'HOLBACH"



GALIANI To HOLBACH
(Galiani, Corresp., Vol. I, p. 199)
NAPLES, le 21 juillet, 1770

_Bonjour, mon cher Baron,_

J'ai vu le _Systeme de la Nature_.  C'est la ligne ou finit la
tristesse de la morne et seche verite, au-dela commence la gaiete
du roman.  Il n'y a rien de mieux que de se persuader que les des
sont pipes: cette idee en enfante milles autres, et un nouveau
monde se regenere.  Le M. Mirabaud est un vrai abbe Terray
de la metaphysique.  Il fait des reductions, des suspensions,
et cause la banqueroute du savoir, du plaisir et de l'esprit
humain.  Mais vous allez me dire qu'aussi il y avait trop de
nonvaleurs: on etait trop endette, il courait trop de papiers non
reels sur la place.  C'est vrai aussi, et voila pourquoi la crise
est arrivee.

Adieu, mon cher baron.  Ecrivez-moi de longues lettres, pour que
le plaisir en soit plus grand.  Embrassez moi longuement la
baronne, et soyez longue dans tout que vous faites, dans tout
ce que vous patientez, dans tout ce que vous esperer.  La
longanimite est une belle vertu; c'est elle qui me fait esperer
de revoir Paris.
	Adieu.



HOLBACH To GALIANI 
(Critica, Vol. I, 1903, p. 489)

GRANDVAL, le 25 d'aout 1770

_Bonjour, mon tres delicieux abbe,_

J'ai bien recu votre tres-precieuse lettre du 21 de juillet qui
m'accuse la reception de celle que je vous avais ecrite le 3 de
juin.  Je vois que celle-ci a ete longtemps en route, attendu
que M. Torcia a qui M. Diderot s'etait charge de la remettre, a
encore trainasse quelque temps a Paris, suivant la louable
coutume des voyageurs qui nous quittent toujours avec peine.

Je suis bien aise que vous ayez lu le livre de Mirabaud qui fait
un bruit affreux dans ce pays.  L'abbe Bergier l'a deja
refute tres-longuement et sa reponse paraitra cet hiver.  La
Sorbonne est, dit-on, occupee a detruire ce maudit _Systeme_ qui
lui parait au moins heretique.  Voltaire lui-meme se prepare
a le pulveriser; en attendant nos seigneurs du Parlement y
viennent d'y repondre par des fagots, ainsi qu'a quelque autres
ouvrages de meme trempe.  Ce qu'il y a de facheux c'est que
l'ouvrage de V. qui a pour titre _Dieu et les hommes_ a ete
enveloppe dans la meme condamnation, ce qui doit deplaire
souverainement a l'auteur.  Je me rappelle a cette occasion ce
que M. Hume dit d'un catholique que Henri VIII fit conduire au
bucher avec quelques heretiques, et dont le seul chagrin etait
d'etre brule en si mauvaise compagnie.  Nonobstant toutes ces
refutations, il parait tous les jours quelques nouveaux ouvrages
impies, au point que je suis tres surpris que la recolte ait ete
si bonne dans le royaume.  En dernier lieu on vient de publier un
ouvrage sous le titre de _Droit des souverains sur les biens du
clerge_, qui, sans contenir des impietes n'en est pas moins deplaisant
pour cela: Il va droit a la cuisine, et veut que pour liquider
la dette nationale on vende tous les biens ecclesiastiques et
que l'on met nos pontifes a la pension.  Vous sentez qu'une
proposition si mal sonnante n'a pu manquer de mettre le ciel en
courroux; sa colere s'est decharge sur cinq ou six libraires et
colporteurs qui ont ete mis en prison.




[ENDNOTES]


[1:1] Diderot, _Oeuvres_, ed. Assezat et Tourneaux, Vol. XX, p. 28.

[2:2] Grimm, _Corr. Lit._, Vol. XV, p. 421.

[3:3] Diderot, _Oeuvres_, Vol. XX, p. 95.

[3:4] Among the most important are Damiron J. P., _Memoires pour
servir a l'histoire de la philosophie au dix-huitieme siecle_ (Paris,
1858, 3 vols., 8vo); Lange, _Geschichte des Materialismus_ (Eng. tr.,
Boston, 1877); Morley, _Diderot and the Encyclopedists_ (N. Y., 1891,
2 vols., 12mo); Plekhanow, G., _Beitraege zur Geschichte des Materialismus_
(Stuttgart, 1896) ; Hancock, A. E., _The French Revolution and the
English Poets_ (N. Y., 1899); Tallentyre, _The Friends of Voltaire_
(London, 1906); Fabre, _Les Peres de la Revolution_ (Paris, 1910), etc.

[5:5] Confessions, _Oeuvres_, Vol. XXIV, p. 338.

[5:6] Bib. Nat. mss. _Pieces originales,_ 1529, d'Holbach, 34, 861.

[6:7] Carlyle, Rev. Dr. A., _Autobiography_, ed. Burton, Boston, 1861, 
p. 137 sq. for Holbach's English friends mentioned in his letters to
Wilkes.

[12:9] See Chap. II and Bibliography, Pt. I, for these and his other works.

[12:10] Grimm _Cor. Lit._, Vol. II, p. 283.

[12:11] _Gazette de France_, Aug. 10, 1754.

[12:12] Jal, _Dict. Critique_, p. 685.

[13:13] His career is somewhat doubtful.  He travelled in Italy in 1779
and Abbe Galiani, an old friend of Holbach's, got a very agreeable
impression of him.  John Wilkes, in a letter to his daughter in 1781,
seems to imply that he had not turned out very well, and hopes that the
baron's second son will make good the deficiencies of the first.  In
1806 he published a translation of Weiland's _Oberon_ or _Huon de
Bordeaux_ which went thru another edition in 1825, but those are the
only details that have come to light.

[13:14] Diderot, in writing to Mlle Volland Sep. 17, 1760 says: "On
nourrit, a Chenvieres, les deux filles de Madame d'Holbach.  L'ainee
est belle comme un cherubin; c'est un visage rond, de grands yeux
bleus, des levres fines, une bouche riante, la peau la plus blanche
et la plus animee, des cheveux chatains qui ceignent un tres joli
front.  La cadette est un peloton d'embonpoint ou l'on ne distingue
encore que du blanc et du vermillon."

[13:15] Gazette de France, June 1, 1781.

[14:16] Holbach's intendant was [a] Jew, Berlise.  After his death several
of his old servants Vincent, David, and Plocque, contested Holbach's will,
in which they thought they were legatees.  The case was in the courts
for several years and was finally decided against them.  Douarche,
_Les tribunaux civil de Paris pendant la revolution_, Paris, 1905, Vol. I.,
pp. 141, 261, 325, 689.

[14:17] Avezac-Lavigne, _Diderot_, p. 5.

[15:18] _Critica_, Vol. I, p. 48, note.

[15:19] He met Voltaire in Paris in 1778, however, and Naigeon relates
that Voltaire greeted him very cordially and said that he had long
desired to make his acquaintance.

[15:20] Collignon, _Diderot_, p. 1.

[16:21] Avezac-Lavigne, _Diderot_, p. 75, note.

[16:22] Romilly, _Memoirs_, Vol. I, p. 179.

[16:23] Diderot, _Oeuvres_, Vol. I, p. lxvi, note.

[17:24] Journal de Paris, Dec. 2, 1789.

[17:25] See appendix, p. 73, p. 77.

[18:26] See appendix, p. 71.

[19:27] See appendix, p. 72.

[19:28] See p. 6 sq. and appendix pp. 75 sq.

[39:2] Barbier, _Dict._, Vol. I, p. 175 sq.

[40:3] Barbier, Vol. I, p. xxxiii, note.

[40:4] _Oeuvres_, Vol. XVIII, p. 265.

[44:5] _Oeuvres_, Vol. XIV, p. 352.

[47:7] Middleton's translation, preface.

[47:8] Cf. p. 94. [Bibliography Part I]

[54:1] Morley, _Diderot_, Vol. II, p. 155.

[55:2] Later _Bon-sens_ and _Theologie portative_ were doomed to the
flames by the condemnations of Jan. 10, 1774, and February 16, 1776.

[55:3] _Systeme de la Nature_, ed. 1771, Vol. II, p. 496.

[56:4] Grimm, _Cor. Lit._, Vol. IX, p. 167.

[56:5] Voltaire, _Oeuvres_, ed. Beuchot, Vol. LXVI, p. 404.  Subsequent
references to Voltaire are from this edition.

[56:6] Vol. LXVII, p. 265.

[56:7] Grimm, _Cor. Lit._, Vol. IX, p. 90.

[57:8] Vol. LXVI, p. 432.

[57:9] Vol. LXVI, p. 563.

[57:10] Vol. LXVI, p. 386.

[58:11] Vol. LXVI, p. 394.

[58:12] Vol. XXVIII, p. 493.

[58:13] Vol. LXVI, p. 469.

[58:14] Goethe, _Wahrheit und Dichtung_, 11th Book, Goethe's _Werke_,
Stuttgart, Vol. 19, p. 55.

Auf philosophische Weise erleuchtet und gefoedert zu werden, hatten
wir keinen Trieb noch Hang: ueber religioese Gegenstaende glaubten wir
uns selbst aufgeklaert zu haben, und so war der heftige Streit
franzoesischer Philosophen mit dem Pfafftum uns ziemlich gleichgueltig.
Verbotene, zurn Feuer verdaminte Buecher, welche damals grossen Laermen
machten, uebten keine Wirkung auf uns.  Ich gedenke statt aller des
_Systeme de la Nature_, das wir aus Neugier in die Hand nahmen.  Wir
begriffen nicht, wie ein solches Buch gefaehrlich sein koennte.  Es kam
uns so grau, so cimmerisch, so totenhaft vor, das wir Muehe hatten,
seine Gegenwart auszuhalten, dass wir davor wie vor einern Gespenste
schauderten.  Der Verfasser glaubt sein Buch ganz eigens zu empfehlen,
wenn er in der Vorrede versichert, dass er, als ein abgelebter Greis,
soeben in die Grube stiegend, der Mit- und Nachwelt die Wahrheit verkuenden
wolle.  Wir lachten ihn aus: denn wir glaubten bemerkt zu haben, dass
von alten Leuten eigentlich an der Welt nichts geschaetzt werde, was
liebenswuerdig und gut an ihr ist.  "Alte Kirchen haben dunkle Glaeser"
"Wie Kirschen und Beeren schmecken, muss mann Kinder und Sperlinge
fragen"--dies waren unsere Lust und Leibworte: und so schien uns jenes
Buch, als die rechte Quintessenz der Greisenheit, unschmachhaft, ja
abgeschmackt Alles sollte notwendig sein und deswegen kein Gott.
"Koennte es denn aber nicht auch notwendig einen Gott geben?" fragten
wir.  Dabei gestanden wir freilich, das wir uns den Notwendigkeiten der
Tage und Naechte, der Jahrszeiten, der klirnatischen Einflusse, der
physichen und animalischen Zustaende nicht wohl entziehen koennten: doch
fuehlten wir etwas in uns, das als vollkommene Willkuer erschien, und
wieder etwas, das sich mit dieser Willkuer ins Gleichgewicht zu setzen
suchte.  Die Hoffnung, immer vernuenftiger zu werden, uns von den aussern
Dingen, ja von uns selbst immer unabhaengiger zu machen, konnten wir
nicht aufgeben.  Das Wort Freiheit klingt so schon, dass mann es nicht
entbehren koennte und wenn es einen Irrtum bezeichnete.

Keiner von uns hatte das Buch hinausgelesen; denn wir fanden uns in
der Erwartung getaeuscht, in der wir es auf geschlagen hatten.
_System der Natur_ ward angekuendigt und wir hofften also wirklich
etwas von der Natur, unsere Abgoetten, zu erfahren.  Physik und Chemie,
Himmels- und Erdbeschriebung, Naturgeschichte und Anatomie und so
manches andere hatte nun zeit Jahren und bis auf den letzten Tag uns
immer auf die geschmuechte grosse Welt hingeweisen, und wir hatten gern
von Sonnen und Sternen, von Planeten und Monden, von Bergen, Thaelern,
Fluessen und Meeren und von allem, was dann lebt und webt, das Naehere
sowie das Allgemeinere erfahren.  Das hierbei wohl manches vorkommen
muesste, was dem gemeinen Menschen als schaedlich, der Geistlichkeit als
gefaehrlich, dem Staat als unzulaessig erschienen moechte, daran hatten wir
keinen Zweifel, und wir hofften, dieses Buechlein sollte nicht unwuerdig
die Feuerprobe bestauden haben.  Allein wie hohl und leer ward uns in
deiser tristen Atheistischen Halbnacht zu Mute, in welcher die Erde mit
allen ihren Gebilden, der Himmel mit allen seinen Gestirnen verschwand!
Eine Materie sollte sein von Ewigkeit und von Ewigkeit her bewegt, und
sollte nun mit dieser Bewegung rechts und links und nach allen Seiten
ohne weiteres die unendlichen Phaenomene des Daseins hervorbringen.
Dies alles waeren wir sogar zufrieden gewesen, wenn der Verfasser
wirklich aus seiner bewegten Materie die Welt vor unsern Augen
aufgebaut haette.  Aber er mochte von der Natur so wenig wissen als wir;
denn indem er einige allgemeine Begriffe hingepfahlt, verlaesst er sie
sogleich, um dasjenige, was hoeher als die Natur oder als hoehere
Natur in der Natur erschient, zur materiellen schweren, zwar bewegten,
aber doch richtungs- und gestaltlosen Natur zu verwandeln, und glaubt
dadurch recht viel gewonnen zu haben.  Wenn uns jedoch dieses Buch
einigen Schaden gebracht hat, so war es der, das wir allen
Philosophie, besonderers aber der Metaphysick recht herzlich gram
wurden, und bleiben, dagegen aber auf lebendige Wissen, Erfahren,
Thun und Dichten uns nur desto lebhafter und leidenschaftlicher hinwarfen.

[64:15] Vol. II, p. 261, ed. 1820.




BIBLIOGRAPHY--PART I.

EDITIONS OF HOLBACH'S WORKS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.


As the works of Holbach are not yet cataloged in the Bibliotheque
Nationale, the following list is doubtless incomplete.  The numbers
given are those of the Bibliotheque Nationale and the British Museum
where the books were used, except in cases where they were available
in Boston, New York or Washington.


ABBREVIATIONS

B. N., Bibliotheque Nationale.
B. M., British Museum.
L. C., Library of Congress.
C. U., Columbia University.
H. U., Harvard University.
U. T. S., Union Theological Seminary.
G. T. S., General Theological Seminary.
A. T. S., Andover Theological Seminary.
N. Y., New York Public Library.
B. P., Boston Public Library.

Of about 120 editions consulted, C. U. had 13; U. T. S. 7; N. Y. 7;
H. U. 6; B. P. 5; L. C. 4; A. T. S. 3; G. T. S. I.  There are 20 or more
editions in existence that were not to be found in the library catalogs
consulted.

1752.  Lettre a une dame d'un certain age sur l'etat present de l'Opera.
En Arcadie aux depens de l'Academie Royale de Musique, (Paris, 8vo, pp. 11.)
B. M. 1103 b 21 (2).

1752.  Arret rendu a l'amphitheatre de l'Opera, sur la plainte du
milieu du parterre intervenant dans la querelle des deux coins.
(Paris, 1752, 8vo, pp. 16.)
B. N. Yf 7726 (attributed to Diderot).

1752.  Art de la Verrerie, De Neri, Merret et Kunckel; auquel on a
ajoute Le _Sol Sine Veste_ D'Orschall; _L'Helioscopium videndi sine
veste solem Chymicum_; Le _Sol Non Sine Veste_: Le Chapitre XI du
_Flora Saturnizans_ de Henckel, Sur la Vitrification des Vegetaux;
Un Memoire sur la maniere de faire le Saffre; Le Secret des vraies
Porcelaines de la Chine et de Saxe; Ouvrages ou l'on trouvera la
maniere de faire le Verre et le Crystal, d'y porter des Couleurs,
d'imiter les Pierres Precieuses, de preparer et colorer les Emaux,
de faire la Potasse, de peindre sur le Verre, de preparer des Vernis,
de composer de Couvertes pour des Fayances et Poteries, d'extraire la
Couleur Pourpre de l'Or, de contrefaire les Rubis, de faire le Soffre,
de faire et peindre les Porcelaines, etc.  Traduits de l'Allemand Par
M. D... A Paris Durand, rue St. Jacques, au Griffon.  Pissot, Quai des
Augustins, a la Sagesse.  Avec Approbation et Privilege du Roi (in quarto).
	B. N. V. 11028.
	C. U. A. n H 35 (Avery Library).

1753.  Mineralogie, ou description generale des substances du regne
mineral.  Par Mr. Jean Gotshalk Wallerius, Professeur Royale de
Chymie, de Metallurgie et de Pharmacie dans l'Universite d'Upsal,
de l'Academie Imperiale des Curieux de la Nature.  Ouvrage traduit
de l'Allemand, A Paris, Chez Durand, rue S. Jacques, au Griffon.
Pissot, Quai de Conti, a la Croix d'Or, MDCCLII.  Avec Approbation
et Privilege du Roi (2 vols., 8vo, pp. xlvii + 569 + 284).  Followed
by (second title page) Hydrologie, ou description du regne aquatique,
divises par classes, gendres, especes et varietes, avec la maniere de
faire l'essai des eaux (256 p.).
	B. N., S. 1992 (2).
	B. M. 987 h. 9-10.

--Ibid.  (Paris, Herissant, Durand, 1759, 2 vols., 8vo.) N. Y., P. W. D.
	H. U. Geol. 7257-59.
	B. M. 970 h.l.

1756.  Introduction a la Mineralogie; ou connoissance des eaux, des
sucs terrestres, des sels, des terres, des pierres, des mineraux, et
des metaux: avec une description abregee des operations de metallurgie.
Ouvrage posthume de M. J. F. Henckel, publie sous le titre de _Henckelius
in Mineralogia redivivus_ et traduit de l'Allemand.  A Paris, Chez Guillaume
Cavelier, Libraire, rue S. Jacques, au Lys d'Or.  MDCCLVI.  Avec Approbation
et Privilege du Roi.  (2 vols., 12vo, pp. lxxi + 204 + 371.)
	B. N. 19930 (1).

1758.  Chimie metallurgique, Dans laquelle on trouvera la Theorie et
la Pratique de cet Art.  Avec des Experiences sur la Densite
des Alliages des Metaux, et des demi-Metaux; et un Abrege de
Docimastique.  Avec Figures.  Par M. C. E. Gellert, Conseiller
des Mines de Saxe et de l'Academie Imperiale de Petersbourg.
Ouvrages traduits de l'Allemand.  A Paris, Chez Briasson, rue
Saint Jacques; Avec Approbation et Privelege.  (2 vols., 12mo,
pp. xii + 296 + xvii + 351.)
	B. N., R. 37032 (3).

1759.  Traites de physique, d'histoire naturelle, de mineralogie et de
metallurgie.  (Paris, 1759, 3 vols., 12mo.)  (General title.)
	Tome I.  L'Art des Mines, ou Introduction aux connoissances
necessaires pour l'exploitation des mines metalliques avec un traite
des exhalaisons minerales ou moufettes, et plusieurs memoires sur
differens sujets d'Histoire Naturelle-Avec figures.  Par
M. Jean Gotlob Lehmann, Docteur en Medecine, Conseiller des
Mines de Sa Majeste Prussienne, de l'Academie Royale des
Sciences de Berlin et de celle des Sciences utiles de Mayence.
Traduit de l'Allemand.  A Paris, Chez Jean Thomas Herrisant
MDCCLIX.  Avec Approbation et Privilege du Roi. 
	Tome II.  Traite de la formation des metaux et de leurs
matrices ou minieres, ouvrage fonde sur les principes de la
physique et de la mineralogie et confirme par des experiences
chymiques.  Par M. J. G. Lehmann, etc.  Traduit de l'Allemand.
	Tome III.  Essai d'une Histoire Naturelle des couches de la
terre.  Dans lequel on traite de leur formation, de leur situation,
des mineraux, des metaux et des fossiles qu'elles contiennent.
Avec des considerations physiques sur les causes des Tremblements
de Terre et de leur propagation.  Ouvrages traduits de l'Allemand,
et augmentes de Notes du Traducteur etc.
	H. U., M, Z.
	B. M. 990 c. 16-18.

1759.  Les plaisirs de l'imagination, poeme en trois chants, par
M. Akenside.  Traduit de l'anglais.  A Amsterdam, Arkstee et Merkus,
et se trouve a Paris chez Pissot, Quai de Conti MDCCLIX (8vo).
	B. N. 2 ex. Yk 2362 et 2498.
	B. M. 1162 f 20.

--Ibid.  Les plaisirs de l'imagination, poeme en trois chants, Par
Akenside, traduit de l'Anglais par le baron d'Holbach, augmente de
Notes historiques et litteraires, de la vie de l'auteur et du Traducteur,
par Pissot.  Paris, Hubert MDCCCVI (1806-18vo).
	B. N. Yk 2363.
	B. M. 1065 b 20 (2).

1760.  Pyritologie, ou Histoire Naturelle de la Pyrite, ouvrage dans
lequel on examine l'origine, la nature, les proprietes et les usages
de ce Mineral important, et de la plupart des autres Substances du meme
Regne: on y a joint le Flora Saturnisans ou L'Auteur demontre l'Alliance
qui se trouve entre les Vegetaux et les Mineraux; et les Orpuscules
Mineralogiques, Qui comprennent un Traite de l'Appropriation, un Traite
de L'Origine des Pierres, plusieurs Memoires sur la Chymie et l'Histoire
Naturelle, avec un Traite des Maladies des Mineurs et des Fondeurs.
Par M. Jean-Frederic Henkel, Docteur en Medicine, Conseiller des Mines
du Roi de Pologne, Electeur de Saxe; de l'Academie Imperiale des Curieux
de la Nature et de celle de Berlin.  Ouvrages Traduit de l'Allemand [by
Baron d'Holbach and M., Charas] a Paris, Chez jean Thomas Herissant,
Libraire, Rue S. Jacques, a S. Paul et a S. Hilaire. MDCCLX.  Avec
Approbation et Privilege du Roi.  (Paris, 1760, quarto, pp. xvi + 524.)
	B. N. 5324.
	B. M. 34 c 15.

1760.  Oeuvres Metallurgiques de M. Jean-Christian Orschall, Inspecteur
des Mines de S. A. S. le Land-grave de Hesse-Cassel.  Contenant
I. L'Art de la Fonderie; II. Un Traite de la Siquation;
III.  Le Traite de la Maceration des Mines; IV. Le Traite
des Trois Merveilles; (Traduit de l'Allemand) Le prix est de 50
sols broche et de 3 liv. relie. A Paris, Chez Hardy, Libraire, rue
S. Jacques au dessus de celle de la Parcheminerie a la Colonne
d'Or.  MDCCLX.  Avec Approbation et Privilege du Roi.
(12mo, pp. + 394.)
	B. N., S 19,992.

1764.  Recueil des memoires les plus interessants de chymie, et d'histoire
naturelle, contenus dans les actes de l'Academie d'Upsal, et dans les
Memoires de l'Academie Royale des Sciences de Stockholm; Publies depuis
1720 jusqu'en 1760.  Traduits du Latin et de l'Allemand.  A Paris, Chez
Pierre-Fr. Didot, le jeune, Quai des Augustins, a S. Augustin.  MDCCLXIV.
Avec Approbation et Privilege du Roi. (2 vols., 12mo, pp. viii + 687.)
	B. N. R 15483 (4).

1765.  Histoire du regne de la Reine Anne d'Angleterre, contenant Les
Negociations de la paix d'Utrecht, et les demeles qu'elle occasionna
en Angleterre.  Ouvrage posthume du Docteur Jonathan Swift.  Doyen de
S. Patrice en Irelande: Publie sur un Manuscrit corrige de la propre
main de l'Auteur, et traduit de l'Anglais par M... [d'Holbach and Eidous].
A Amsterdam, Chez Marc-Michel Rey, et Arkstee et Merkus. MDCCLXV.
(12mo, pp. xxiv + 416.)
	B. N. 8vo Nc 1718.

1766.  Traite du Soufre, ou Remarques sur la dispute qui s'est elevee
entre les chymistes, au sujet du Soufre, tant commun, combustible
ou volatil, que fixe, etc.  Traduit de l'Allemand de Stahl.
A Paris, Chez Pierre-Francois Didot, le jeune.  Quai de
Augustins a Saint-Augustin.  MDCCLXVI.  Avec Approbation
et Privilege du Roi.  (12mo, pp. 392.)
	B. N., R 51709.
	B. M. 233 b 15.

1766.  L'Antiquite devoilee par ses usages, ou Examen critique des
principales Opinions, Ceremonies et Institutions religieuses et
politiques des differens Peuples de la Terre.  Par feu M., Boulanger.
Homo, quod rationis est particeps, consequentiam cernit causas rerum
videt, earumque progressus et quasi antecessiones non ignorat,
similitudines compare, rebus praesentibus adjungit at anectit futuras.
--Cicero, De Offic. Lib. I. C. 4.
A Amsterdam, Chez Marc-Michel Rey, MDCCLXVI. (Quarto pp. viii + 412.)
	B. N., E 690.
	C. U., A P. B 66 (Avery Library).

--Ibid.  (1766, 3 vols., 12mo.)
	B. N. *E 2446-2448. 

--Ibid.  (1772, 3 Vols., (12mo.)
	B. N. *E 2445 (VIII).
	B. M. 4506 a 1.

--Ibid.  (Amsterdam, 1777, 3 vols., 12mo, pp. lx + 355 + 391 + 396.)
	B. M. 696 b 35.

--Ibid.  In Oeuvres de Boulanger T. I-IV En Suisse.
De l'Imprimerie Philosophique MDCCXCI. (4 vols., (12mo.)
	B. N., Z 24316-24319.

--Ibid.  In _Oeuvres de Boulanger_ T. I-II Amsterdam.
(Paris, 2 vols., 8vo.) (Querard.)

1767.  Le Christianisme devoile, ou Examen des principes et des effets
de la religion Chretienne.  Par feu M. Boulanger.  Superstitio error
infanus est, amandos timet, quos colit violat; quid enim interest,
utrum Deos neges, an infames?  Senec. Ep. 12.
A Londres, MDCCLVI (Nancy, Leclerc, 1761, 8vo, pp. xxviii + 295).
	B. N., D2 5305.
	B. M. 4016 bb 6.
	B. M., C 2863 (another copy with MS. notes by Voltaire).

--Ibid.  (Londres, 1767, 8vo, pp. xx + 236.)  Printed at John Wilkes'
private press in George St. Westminster, according to MS. note in
title page.
	B. M. 4017 de. 13.

--Ibid.  (Londres, 1767, 8vo, pp. 244.)
	A. T. S. 6 11.

--Ibid.  (A Paris, Chez les Libraires Associes, 1767, 8vo,
pp. xvii + 218.)
	B. N., D2 8364.

--Ibid.  (Londres [Amsterdam], 1767, 12mo.)
	B. M. 696 b 34

--Ibid.  Oeuvres de Boulanger T. VII.  (En Suisse de l'Imprimerie
philosophique, 1791, 12mo.)
	B. N., Z 23421.

--Ibid.  Oeuvres de Boulanger T. V, 1793.

--Christianity Unveiled; being an examination of the principles and
effects of the Christian Religion, from the French of Boulanger,
Author of _Researches into the Origin of Oriental Despotism_, by
W. M. Johnson. New York, 1795, printed at the Columbian Press by
Robertson and Gowan for the editor and sold by the principal book
sellers in the United States. (12mo, pp. ix + 238.)
	B. M. 4017 de 4.
	B. M. 900 i. 1, (7) another copy with MS. Notes.
	B. P.... 7490 a 22.

--Ibid.  London, printed and published by R. Carlile, 55 Fleet St.
1819 (8vo, pp. 98.)
	B. M. 4016 d. 13.

--Ibid.  The Deist, etc. Vol. II, published by R. Carlile, 1819.
(8vo, pp. vii + 125.)
	B. M. 4015 f 11.

--El Cristianismo a descurbierto, o examen de los principios y efectos
de la religion cristiana.  Escrito en Frances por Boulanger y traducido
al castellano por S. D. V.... Londres en la emprenta de Davidson, 1821.
(12mo, pp. xxvi + 246.)
	B. M. 4016 df 6.

1767.  L'Esprit du clerge, ou Le Christianisme primitif venge des
entreprises et des exces de nos Pretres modernes.  Traduit de
l'Anglois a Londres (Amsterdam) MDCCLXVII (2 vols. 8vo,
pp. 2 + 10 + 240).
	B. M. pp. 54.

1767.  De l'imposture sacerdotale, ou Recueil de Pieces sur le Clerge.
Traduites de l'Anglois. Londres (Amsterdam) MDCCLXVII.
(12mo, pp. 144.)
	B. N., D2 8368 (7).

	Contains, Tableau fidele des papes.  _Traduit d'une Brochure
	Anglaise_ de M. Davisson, Publie sous le titre de _a true picture
	of Popery_, pp. 1-35.

	De l'insolence pontificale, ou des Pretentions ridicules du
	Pape et des Flatteurs de la Cour de Rome.  _Extrait de la
	Profession de Foi du celebre Giannone_, par. M. Davisson, pp. 36-54.

	Sermon.  Sur les fourberies et les impostures du Clerge
	Romain, _Traduit de l'Anglois sur une Brochure publiee a
	Londres en 1735_ par M. Bourn Birmingham, Sous le titre de
	_Popery a Craft_, pp. 55-84.

	Le Pretrianisme oppose au Christianisme.  Ou la Religion
	des Pretres comparee a celle de Jesus-Christ, ou examen de la
	difference qui se trouve entre les Apotres et les Membres du
	Clerge moderne.  _Publie en Anglois en 1720 sous le titre de_
	Priestanity.  Or a View of the disparity between the Apostles
	and the Modern Clergy, pp. 85-108.

	Des Dangers de l'Eglise, _Traduit de Anglois sur une Brochure
	Publiee eu 1719_.  Par M., Thomas Gordon, Sous le titre
	d'_Apology for the danger of the Church_, etc., pp. 109-128.

	Le Simbole d'un Laique, ou Profession de Foi d'un homme
	desinteresse.  Traduit de l'Anglois de M. Gordon, Sur une
	brochure publiee en 1720.  Sous le titre de _the creed of an
	independent Whig_, pp. 129-144.

--Ibid.  Published under title De La Monstruosite pontificale, ou
Tableau fidele des Papes.  _Traduit de l'Anglois_ Londres
MDCCLXXII.  (16vo, pp. 55.)
	B. N., H. 19859.

1768.  Examen des Propheties qui servent de fondement a la religion
chretienne, avec un Essai de critique sur les Prophetes et les
Propheties en general.  Ouvrages traduits de l'Anglois.
Londres MDCCLXVIII.  (8vo, pp. 234.)
	B. N., D2 5190.
	B. M. 4017 de 18.

Contains, Discours sur les fondements de la religion chretienne, pp. 1-111.

Extrait De l'Ouvrage qui a pour titre: Examen du Septeme de ceux
qui pretendent que les Propheties se sont accomplies a la lettre.
The Scheme of literal Prophecy considered, etc., 1727. (8vo, pp. 118-234.)

1768.  David, ou l'Histoire de l'homme selon le coeur de Dieu, ouvrage
traduit de l'Anglois.  Sauel, et David, tragedie en 5 actes d'apres
l'Anglois.... (Londres, 1768, 8vo.)
	B. N. 3 ex. LD2 5194, Hz 1542, et Res Z. Beuchot 798 (2).
	B. M. 4014 a 67 (1).

1768.  Les Pretres demasques, ou des iniquites du clerge chretien.
Ouvrage traduit de l'Anglois.  Londres.  MDCCLXVIII.
(16vo, pp. 180.)
	B. N., D2 4639.
	B. M. 4017 de 29.

1768.  Lettres philosophiques, sur l'origine des Prejuges, du Dogme de
l'Immortalite de l'Ame, de l'Idolatrie et de la Superstition; sur
le Systeme de Spinoza et sur l'origine du mouvement dans la
matiere.  Traduites de l'Anglois de J. Toland.

	Opinionum commenta delet dies, naturae judicia confirmat.
	Cicero, de Nat. Deor. lib. II.  A Londres (Amsterdam). 1768.
	MDCCLXVIII. (8vo, pp. 267.)
		B. N., D2 5203.
		B. M. 4015 de 48.

	Containing, Preface ou Lettre a un ami, en lui envoyant les
	Dissertations suivantes, dans laquelle l'Auteur rend compte des
	motifs qui les ont fait ecrire. (pp. 12-26.)

	Premiere Lettre.  De L'origine et de la Force de ces Prejuges.
	(pp. 27-44.)

	Seconde Lettre.  Histoire du dogme de l'Immortalite de
	l'Ame Chez les Payens. (pp. 45-93.)

	Troisieme Lettre.  Sur l'origine de l'Idolatrie et sur les
	fondements de la Religion Payenne. (pp. 94-152.)

	Quartrieme Lettre.  A un Gentilhomme Hollandois pour lui
	prouver que le systeme de Spinoza est depourvu de fondements
	et peche dans ses principes. (pp. 154-186.)

	Cinquieme Lettre.  Dans laquelle on prouve que le mouvement
	est essentiel a la Matiere; en reponse a quelques remarques
	qui ont ete faites a l'Auteur au sujet de sa refutation du
	Systeme de Spinoza.

	Nunc quae mobilitas fit reddita Materiae Corporibus paucis
	licet hinc cognoscere, Memmi.  Lucret., lib. II, vers 142.
	(pp. 187-267.)

1768.  Theologie portative, ou Dictionnaire Abrege de la Religion
Chretienne.  Par Mr. l'Abbe Bernier, Licencie en Theologie.

Audite hoc Sacerdotes, et attendite Domus Israel, et Domus
Regis auscultate; quia vobis Judicium est, quoniam Laquens
facti estis Speculationi et rete expansum super Thabor. Osee,
Chap. V, Vers. I.  Londres (Amsterdam), MDCCLXVIII (1767),
(12mo, pp. 243).
	B. N., D2 14334.
	B. M. 703 a 25.

--Ibid. Londres (Suisse), 1768.

--Ibid.  A Rome, MDCCLXXV (8vo, pp. 213).
	B. N., D2 8370.

--Ibid.  Augmentee d'un Volume.  A Rome, avec permission et privilege
du Conclave.  (2 vols., 12mo (1776).)
	B. N., D2 8371.

--Ibid.  Under title.  Manuel Theologique, en form de Dictionnaire.
Ouvrage tres utile aux personnes des deux sexes pour le salut de leurs
ames, par l'abbe Bernier etc.  Rome, 1785 Au Vatican de l'Imprimerie du
Conclave. (2 vols., 8vo.)

--Ibid.  1802.

1768.  Le Militaire philosophe, ou Difficultes sur la Religion,
proposees au R. P. Malebranche, Pretre de l'Oratoire.  Par un ancien
Officier.  Londres (Amsterdam) MDCCLXVIII.  (8vo, pp. 193.)
	C. U. 201 N 14.

--Ibid.  1770 (8vo) .
	B. M. 4015 bb 32.

--Ibid.  1776 (8vo).
	B. M. 4015 de 34.
	(Last chapter by d'Holbach.)

1768.  La Contagion sacree, ou Histoire Naturelle de la Superstition.
Ouvrage traduit de l'Anglois.  _Prima mali labes_.  Londres
(Amsterdam), MDCCLXVII. (2 vols. in 1, 8vo.)
	B. N., D2 5195.
	C. U. 194 H 69 P.

--Ibid.  Avec des notes relatives aux Circonstances.  Nouvelle
Edition.  A Paris, de l'Imprimerie de Lemaire, rue d'Enfer no. 141,
An 5 de la Republique (1797).  (2 vols. in 1, 8vo, pp. 179-190.)
	U. T. S. 441
	B. H. 723 C.

--El Contagion sagrado, o Historia natural de la supersticion.
Paris, Rodriguez, 1822.  (2 vols., 8vo.)  (Querard.)

1768.  Lettres a Eugenia, ou Preservatif contre les prejuges ... arctis
Relligionum animos nodis exsolvere pergo.--Lucret. de rer. nat., Lib. 4,
v. 6-7.  A Londres, MDCCLXVIII. (2 vols., 8vo, pp. xii + 188 + 167)

--Ibid.  Oeuvres de Nicolas Freret, T. I, pp. 1-359. Paris, 1792.  (8vo.)
	H. U. 19-30, vol. I.

--Cartas a Eugenia, por Mr. Freret.  Paris.  Imprenta de F. Didot,
1810 (8vo, pp. viii + 358).
	B. M. 4015 de 23.

--Letters to Eugenia on the absurd, contradictory and demoralizing
Dogmas and Mysteries of the Christian Religion.  Now first translated
from the French of Freret, but supposed to be written by Baron Holbach,
author of the System of Nature, Christianity Unveiled, Common Sense,
Universal Morality, Natural Morality.  R. Carlile, The Deist, etc.,
Vol. II, 1819, etc.  (8vo, pp. 185.)
	B. M. 4015 f. 11.

--Cartas a Eugenia.  Madrid, 1823, por Don Benito Cano.  2v.
	N. Y., Z F F.

--Letters to Eugenia on the absurd, contradictory and demoralizing
Dogmas and Mysteries of the Christian Religion, by Baron d'Holbach,
New York, published by H. M. Dubecquet, No. 190
William Street, 1833.  (12vo, pp. 236.)
	U. T. S. 326 B.

--Letters to Eugenia etc., translated by Anthony C. Middleton,
M.D. Boston, Josiah P. Mendum, 1857.
	B. P. 5484 2.

1769.  De la Cruaute religieuse.  A Londres, MDCCLXIX. (16vo, pp. 228.)
	B. N., D2 8365.
	B. M. 4017 aa 25.
	U. T. S. H 723.

--Ibid.  Amsterdam, 1775, 12vo.

1769.  Le la Tolerance dans la Religion, ou de la Liberte de conscience
par Crellius.  L'Intolerance convaincue de crime et de folie.
Ouvrage traduit de l'Anglois, Londres, MDCCLXIX.  (12vo, pp. 174.)

	Contains De la Tolerance dans la religion, ou de la liberte de
	conscience (Crellius).

	De l'Intolerance dans la Religion (d'Holbach), p. 88.

	Enfer detruit ou Examen Raisonne du Dogme de l'Eternite
	des peines.  Ouvrages, tr. de L'Anglois a Londres, MDCCLXIX, p. 1.

	Dissertation critique sur les tourmens de l'enfer.  Traduit de
	L'Anglois, p. 96 (by Whitefoot).
		B. N., D2 5154.

--Ibid.  Hell destroyed!  Now first translated from the French of
d'Alembert without any mutilations.  London.  Printed and published
by J. W. Trust, 126 Newgate St., 1823. (8vo, pp. 47.)
(Followed by Whitefoot's Torments of Hell, "now first translated
from the French," to p. 83.)

1770.  L'Esprit du judaisme, ou Examen raisonne de la Loi de Moyse,
et de son influence sur la Religion Chretienne.
	Atque utinam nunquam Judaea sub acta fuisset Pompeii
	bellis, imperioque Titi.
	Latius excisae pestes contagie serpunt, Victoresques suos
	natio victa premit.  Rutilius, Itinerar.  Lia I, vs. 394, Londres,
	MDCCLXX. (12mo, pp. xxii + 201.)
		B. N., D2 5191.
		B. M. 4034 bb 38.

1770.  Examen critique de la vie et des ouvrages de saint Paul, Avec
une dissertation sur saint Pierre par feu M. Boulanger.
Londres, 1770 (8vo), (by Peter Annet).
	B. N. 3ex. [D2 5349 (2) 8367 et H. 7551].
	B. M. 48o8 aa 7.

--Ibid.  Nouvelle Edition, Londres, 1790. (8vo.)
	B. N. [H 13032].

--Critical Examination of the Life of St. Paul.  Translated from
the French of Boulanger.  "Paul, thou art beside thyself, much
learning doth make thee mad."  Acts, chap, 26, v 24.  London.
Printed and published by R. Carlile, 5 Water Lane, Fleet St.,
1823.  (8vo, pp. 72.)
	B. M. 4372 h g (4).

1770.  Histoire critique de Jesus-Christ, ou Analyse raisonnee
des Evangiles.  Ecce Homo.
Pudet me humani generis, cuius mentis et aures talia ferre
potuerunt.  S. Augustin. (No date [Amsterdam, 1770?], 16mo,
pp. viii + xxxii + 298.)
	B. N, 7,549.
	B. M. 4017 a. 45.
	U. T. S. 465 H 723.

--Ecce Homo! or a critical enquiry into the history of Jesus Christ,
being a Rational Analysis of the Gospels.  Edinburg, 1799.

--Ecce Homo! or a critical enquiry into the history of Jesus Christ,
being a Rational Analysis of the Gospels.  (2d ed.) London, 1813.
Printed, published and sold by D. I. Easton.
	G. T. S. 232 G. H. 69.

--Historia critica de Jesus Christo, o anailisis razonado le los
evangelios.  Traducida del Frances, por el P. F. de T, ex-jesuita.
Ecce Homo.  Vel. aqui el hombre.  S. Juan, cap. 19,

v. 5. Londres, en la imprenta de Davidson, 1822.  (2 vols., 12mo,
pp. xiii + 200 + 280.)

Contains Advertencia del Traductor.

1770.  Tableau des Saints, ou examen de l'esprit, de la conduite, des
maximes, et du merite des personnages que le Christianisme revere et
propose pour modeles.
Hoc admonere simplices etiam potest,
Opinione alterius ne quid ponderent;
Ambitio namque diffidens mortalium
Aut gratiae subscribunt, aut odio suo;
Erit ille nottis, quem per te cognoveris.
Phaed., Lib. III, Fab. 10.

A Londres, MDCCLXX.  (2 Vols., 12mo, pp. xxviii + 280 + 286.)
	B. N., H 7,552.
	B. M. 4,824 a a a a 27.

1770.  Recueil philosophique, ou Melange de Pieces sur la Religion et
la Morale.  Par differents Auteurs (ed. Naigeon).

Ovando enim ista observans quieto et libero animo esse poteris,
ut ad vem gerendam non Superstionem habeas, sed Rationem ducem.
--Cicero, de Divinat., Lib. 2.  Londres, MDCCLXX.  (2 vols., 12mo.)
	B. N., D2 5309.

	Vol. I, p. 129 (VI), Reflexions sur les Craintes de la Mort.

	Vol. II, p. 34 (IX), Dissertation sur l'Immortalite de l'ame.
	Traduite de l'Anglais.

	Vol. II, p. 50 (X), Dissertation sur le suicide.  Traduit de l'Anglais.

	Vol. II, p. 70 (XI).  Probleme important.  La Religion est
	elle necessaire a la Morale et utile a la Politique?  Par M.
	Mirabaud.

	Vol. II, p. 125 (XIII).  Extrait d'un Ecrit Anglais qui a pour
	titre _le christianisme aussi ancien que le monde_.

1770.  Essai sur les prejuges, ou, De l'influence des opinions sur les
moeurs et sur le bonheur des hommes.  Ouvrage contenant l'apologie
de la philosophie par Mr. D. M.

Assiduite quotidiana et consuetudine oculorum assuescunt animi,
neque admirantur, neque requerunt rationes earum rerum quas vident.
--Cicero de Nat. Deorum, Lib. II.  Londres, MDCCLXX. (8vo, pp. 394.)
	B. N., R 20 553.
	B. M. 8463 b b b 16.
	H. U. Phil. 264840.

--Ibid.  Paris Desray an 1 (1792).  (2 vols., 8vo, Cortina.)

--Ibid.  Oeuvres de Dumarsais. Paris, Pougin, 1797.  T. VI 
8vo, pp. 43-352.
	B. N., Z 23766-72.
	H. U. 9578 13 VI.

--Ibid.  Paris, Niogret, 1822.
	C. U. 3045 D 89.

--Essayo sobre las preocupaciones o del influjo de las opiniones
en las costumbres y felicidad de las hombres.  Por Dumarsais.
En Paris.  Hallase en la casa de Rosa, Librero.  Gran pacio del
Palacio Real.  1823.  (8vo, pp. 391.)
	B. N., R 34,366.

--(Bibliotheque Nationale. Collection des meilleurs auteurs
anciens et modernes.)  Dumarsais.  Essai sur les Prejuges.
Precede d'un Discours preliminaire et d'un Precis historique de
la vie de Dumarsais par le citoyen Daube.  Paris.  Librairie de
la Bibliotheque Nationale.  Rue de Richelieu 8, Pres le
Theatre Francais. Ci-devant rue de Valois 1886.  Tous droits
reserves (25 centimes).
	B. N. 8vo R. 15952.

1770.  Systeme de la Nature, ou Des Loix du Monde Physique et du
Monde Moral. Par M. Mirabaud, Secretaire Perpetuel et l'un 
des Quarante de l'Academie Francaise.

Natura rerum vis atque majestas in omnibus momentis fide
caret, si quis mode partes ejus, ac non totam complectatur
animo.--Plin. Hist., Lib. VII. Londres, MDCCLXX.
(2 vols., 8vo, pp. 370 + 412.)
	B. M. 4017 f 32
	U. T. S. 321 H 7235.

--Ibid, Londres, MDCCLXX. (Second edition, 2 Vols., in 8vo,
pp. 366 + 408.)
	B. M., D2 5166-5167.
Contains Discours preliminaire de l'Auteur (pp. 16).  Avis de
l'Editeur. Preface de l'Auteur, etc.

--Abrege du Code de la Nature, par M., Mirabaud, Secretaire
Perpetuel et l'un des Quarante de l'Academe Francaise. 
Londres. MDCCLXX. (8vo, 16 p.)

--Ibid.  Nouvelle Edition augmentee par l'auteur a laquelle on a
joint plusieurs pieces des meilleurs Auteurs relatives aux
memes objets, etc.  (Ed. Naigeon.)  Londres, MDCCLXXI.
(2 vols. in 8vo, pp. 397-500.)

Contains Vol. II, p. 455, Requisitoire, sur lequel est intervenu
l'Arret du Parlement du 18 Aout 1770 qui condamne a
etre brules, differens Livres ou Brochures, intitules.

1. La Contagion sacree...
2. Dieu et les hommes.
3. Discours sur les Miracles.
4. Examen des Apologistes.
5. Examen impartial des principales religions du Monde.
6. Christianisme devoile.
7. Systeme de la Nature.
Imprime par ordre expres du Roi.
	B. M., D2 5168.
Reprinted in 1774, 1775-1777.

--Ibid.  Nouvelle Edition.  Londres,  1780, 8vo, pp. xii + 371 + 464.

Contains _Sentiments de Voltaire sur le Systeme de la Nature_.
Seguier's _Requisitoire_ and Holbach's _Replique_.
	B. M. 528 1. 2526.

--Ibid.  Nouvelle Edition. Londres, 1781. (2 vols. in 8vo, pp. 316 + 385.)
	B. N., D2 516g.

--Ibid.  German Translation, Schreiter.  Leipzig and Frankfort, 1783.

--Ibid.  Paris, An. III (1795).  (3 vols. in 8vo.)

--The System of Nature.  Translated from the French of M. Mirabeau.
London, 1797.  Printed for G. Kearsley.
	L. of C. B 2053-S G E-12 11-15959.

--Ibid.  Philadelphia, 1808.  Pub. by R. Benson.
	L. of C., B 2053-S G 3 E 13-11-1595 G.

--Nature and Her Laws, as Applicable to the Happiness of Man Living
in Society, Contrasted with Superstitions and Imaginary Systems.
Done from the French of M. Mirabaud.  London in 1816.  W. Hodgson.
	C. U. 194 H 69 S.
	L. of C., B 2053 S g 3 E 14-11.15960

--Systeme de la Nature,... Avec notes de Diderot.  Nouvelle edition.
Ed. Lemonnier, Paris, 1820.  B. Roquefort.  (2 vols. in 8vo.)

--The System of Nature, or the Laws of the Moral and Physical World.
Translated by Samuel Wilkinson from the original French of M. Mirabaud.
Printed and published by Thomas Davison. (Vols. 2, 3, R. Helder, 1821.)
London, 1820.
3 vols in 8vo, pp. xi + 348-311-273.)  Contains Life of Mirabaud,
Vol. 3, pp. 263-273.
	B. M. 804. de 20?
	U. S. 321. H 723.

--Systeme de la Nature... par le Baron d'Holbach.
Nouvelle Edition avec des notes et des corrections par Diderot.
Paris, Etienne Ledoux, 1821.  (2 vols. in 8vo, pp. xvi + 507 +502.)
	B. N., D2 5170.
	B. M. 124 9 i. 26.
	C. U, 194 H 69. R.
	N. Y., Y C O.
Contains extract of Grimm's Literary Correspondence, Aug. 10, 1789.

--Systeme de la Nature, ou des lois du monde physique et du monde
morale, par le Baron d'Holbach.  Nouvelle Edition avec des notes et
des corrections par Diderot etc.  Paris, Domere, 1822. (4 vols. in 12mo.)
Contains Avis de Naigion.  Avertissement du nouvel editeur, pp. 11-29.
Pieces diverses, pp. 30-46.

--Sistema de la Naturaleza, con notas y correcciones por Diderot;
trad, al castell. por F. A. F....  Paris, Masson hijo, 1822,
4 vols. in 18mo.
	B. N., D2 5172.

--Selections from Mirabaud's System of Nature in the Law of Reason, etc.
London, 1831.  (16mo, pp. 231.)
Selections from Bon-Sens, pp. 39-81, 82-112.
	B. M. 1387. b. 3.

--Nature and her Laws, as Applicable to the Happiness of Man Living
in Society, Contrasted with Superstitions and Imaginary Systems.
From the French of M. de Mirabaud.  James Watson.  London, 1834.
(2 vols. in 12mo, pp. xxiv + 287 + 320.)
Sold for 7 s. 6 d.
	B. M. 1133 b 29.
Contains
1. Publisher's Preface (by James Watson).
2. Preface.
3. A short account of the life and writings of the Baron d'Holbach
(by Julian Hibbert).

--System of Nature, new and improved edition with notes by Diderot.
Translated by H. D. Robinson.  New York, 1835, published by Matsell.
	N. Y., Y B X.

--System of Nature, or the laws of the moral and physical world,
from the French of M. Mirabaud.  (New edition, pp. 8 + 520.)
London, 1840.
	C. U. 194 H 69. R 1.

--System der Natur von Mirabaud. Deutsch bearbeitet und mit Anmerkungen
versehen von Biedermann.  Leipzig, 1841.
(8vo, pp. 604.) Georg. Wigands Verlag.
	T. S. (Andover 23).

--System der Natur....  Translated by Schreiter, 1843.

--System of Nature, new and improved edition with notes by Diderot,
translated by H. D. Robinson.  Stereotype edition, Boston, 1848,
in 8vo.  Published by J. P. Mendum.
	B. P. 00.80-6105.5.

--System der Natur..., tr. Allhusen, 1851.

--System of Nature..., tr. Robinson, Boston. 1853. Published by
J. P. Mendum.
	B. P. 3600.48.
	N. Y., Y C O 11-15957/
	L. of C., B. 2053. S g 3 E 6.

--The System of Nature; or, The Laws of the Moral and Physical World,
by the baron d'Holbach, originally attributed to M. de Mirabaud with
memoir by Charles Bradlaugh.  Reprinted verbatim from the best edition.
London.  Published by E. Truelove, 256 High Holborn, 1884. In 8vo,
pp. xi + 520.
	B. M. 8467 a a 33.

1772.  Le Bon-sens ou idees naturelles opposees aux idees surnaturelles.
	 	Detexit quo doloso vaticinandi furore Sacerdotes
	 	mysteria, illis saepe ignota, audacter publicant.
	 	--Petronii Satyricon.
Londres (Amsterdam) 1772, 8vo, pp. xii - 515.
	U. T. S. 321 H. 7236.

--Ibid.  Le Bon-sens du cure J. Meslier d'Etrepigny.  Rome
(Paris), 1791, 8vo.

--Ibid.  Another edition, 1772, 8vo, pp. x-250.

--Ibid. Londres (Amsterdam), 1774, 16mo, pp. xii-302.
	U. T. S. 321 H. 7236.

--Ibid.  Le Bon-sens du cure Meslier d'Etrepigny.  Rome
(Paris), 1791, 8vo.

--Ibid.  Nouvelle edition, suivi du Testament du cure Meslier.
Paris, Bouqueton, l'an I de la Republique.  (1792, 2 vols., 12mo.)

--Ibid.  Le Bon-sens du cure J. Meslier suivi de son Testament.
Paris, 1802, 8vo, pp. 380.
	C. U. 843 M 56 D 1.

--Ibid.  Paris, Palais des Thermes de Julien, 1802 (1822), 12mo.

--Ibid.  Paris, Guillaumin, 1830, 12mo.

--Ibid.  Paris, Guillaumin, 1831, 12mo.

--Common Sense, H. D. Robinson, New York, circa 1833.

--Le Bon-sens du cure J. Meslier, etc.  Paris, Bacquenois, 1833, 12mo.

--Ibid.  Paris, Guillaumin, 1834, 12mo.

--Ibid.  Nancy, Haener, 1834, 12mo.

--Der gesunde Menschenverstand.  Baltimore, 1857.

--Ibid.  Baltimore, 1859 (second edition), H. U.

--Ibid.  Tr. into German by Miss Anna Knoop. circa 1878.

--Ibid., under title, Superstition in all ages; by Jean Meslier...
who left to the world the following pages entitled _Common Sense_.
Translated from the French original by Miss Anna Knoop, New York, 1878. 
	C. U. L. 211 M.

--Ibid.  New York, Peter Eckler, 1890, pp. vi-339.
	U. T. S.

--Le Bon-sens du cure J. Meslier, Paris, Palais des Thermes de
Julien, 1802.  (Garnier Freres, 1905.)
	H. U.

--Superstition in all ages, etc.  Translated from the French original
by Miss Anna Knoop; arranged for publication in its present form and
manner with new title-page and preface by Dr. L. W. deLaurence.  Same
to now serve as "text-book" number five for "the congress of ancient,
divine, mental and Christian masters," Chicago, Ill., DeLaurence,
Scott & Co., 1910, pp. xx-17-339.
	L. of C. 1910, A 26880.  L. W. de Laurence.

1772.  De la nature humaine, ou Exposition des facultes, des actions
et des passions de l'ame, et de leurs causes, deduites d'apres des
principes philosophiques qui ne sont communement ni recus ni connus.
Par Thomas Hobbes; Ouvrage traduit de l'Anglois.
Londres (Amsterdam), MDCCLXXII. (8vo, pp. iv + 171.)
	B. M. 8403 c c 15.
	(Bookmark of Richard Chase Sidney.)

--Ibid.  Oeuvres philosophiques et politiques de Thomas Hobbes.
1787. (2 vols., 8vo.)  (Tr. by Sorbiere and Holbach.)
	B. M. 528 2223.

1773.  Recherches sur les Miracles.  Par l'auteur de l'Examen des
Apologistes de la Religion Chretienne.  A Genus attonitum.
Ovid.  Metam.  Londres, MDCCLXXIII.  (8vo. pp. 172.)
	B. M. 4015 de 44.

1773.  La politique naturelle, ou, Discours sur les vrais principes du
Governement.  Par un ancien Magistrat.
Vis consili expers mole ruit sua. --Horat., Ode IV, lib. III, vers. 65
Londres (Amsterdam), MDCCLXXIII. (2 vols. in 8vo.
pp. vii + 232 + 280.)
	B. M. 521 h. 8.
	U. S. 269 E. H. 723 (ex libris Baron Carl de Vinck, Ministre de Belgique).
	C. U. 320 H. 691.
	(Ascribed also to C. G. Lamoignon de Malesherbes.)

--Ibid.  Londres, 1774.  (2 vols, in 8vo.)

--La Politica Naturale: discorsi sui veri principi di governo.
Traduzione di Luigi Salvadori.  Mantova, Balbiani e Donelli,
'78-80.  (2 vols., 16 (L. 5).)

1773.  Systeme Social, ou principes naturels de la moral et de la
politique, avec un examen de l'influence du governement sur les moeurs.
Discenda virtus est, ars est bonum fieri; erras si existimas
vitia nobiscum nasci; supervenerunt in gesta sunt. --Seneca, Epis. 124.
Londres, MDCCLXXIII.  (8vo, pp. 218 + 174 + 166, in three parts.)
	B. N., R 20275.76 E 1919.
	C. U. 320. H. 69.
	N. Y. SC.

--Ibid.  Par l'auteur du Systeme de la Nature, Londres, 1774.
(3 vols., 8vo, pp. 208 + 174 + 167.)
	B. M. 8403. h 23.

--Ibid.  A Paris, Serviere, 1795.  (2 vols., 8vo, pp. 472 + 403.)
	B. M. 8404 dc. 25 (ex libris J. Gomez de la Cortina et amicorum.
	Fallitur hora legendo).

--Ibid.  ...par le baron d'Holbach.  Paris, Niogret, 1882.
(2 vols, 8vo.)
	C. U. 320.  H. 690.

1774.  Agriculture reduit a ses vrais principes par Jean Gottschalk
Wallerius, Paris, Lacombe, 1774. (12mo.)

1776.  Ethocratie ou le gouvernement fonde sur la morale.
Constituit bonos mores civitati princips. --Seneca, de Clementia, Lib. I.
A Amsterdam.  Chez Marc Michel Rey.  MDCCLXXVI.
(8vo, pp. 10 + 293 + 2.)
	C. U. 320. 1 H 69.

1776.  Morale universelle, ou Les devoirs de l'homme fondes sur la nature.
Natura duce utendum est: hanc ratio observe, hanc
consulit, idem est ergo beate vivere et secundum naturam. --Seneca
de Vita beata, Cap. VIII init.
A Amsterdam.  Chez Marc-Michel Rey, MDCCLXXVI.
(3 vols., 8vo, pp. 416 + 334 + 364.)
	B. N., R 18596-7-8..
	B. M. 231 h-3

--Ibid.  A Tours, Chez Letourmy le jeune et compagnie, A Angers,
De l'Imprimerie de Jahyer et Geslin.  Imprimeurs-Libraries, rue
Milton, 1792. (8vo.)
	B. M. 527.  K. 1-3H.
	U. Phil. 2648.50.

--Ibid.  Paris, Smith (Rey et Gravier), an 6, 1798. (3 vols., 8vo.)

--Ibid.  Par le baron d'Holbach. Paris, Masson et fils.  Libraires,
Rue de Tournon, No. 6, 1820.  (3 vols., 8vo, pp. xxxii + 314 + 266 + 300.)
	C. U. 170 H 2.
	B. M. 8411 k 7.

--Moral universal odeberes del hombre, fundatos en su naturaleza.
Obra escrita en frances por el baron de Holbach y traducida al
castellano por D. Manuel Diaz Moreno Zaragoza, 1838, imp. de
M. Heras. (3 vols., 8vo.)

--La moral universel por el baron de Holbach.  Madrid, 1840,
imp. y lib. del Establecimiento Central. (2 vols. in 4to.)

--Ibid.  Translated into German by Johann Umminger.  Leipzig, 1898.


1790.  Elements de la morale universelle, ou catechisme de la nature.
Par feu M., le Baron d'Holbach des academies de Petersbourg de Manheim
et de Berlin.
Numquam aliud natura aliud sapientia dicit.--Juvenal.
A Paris.  Chez G. de Bure.  Rue Serpente, No. 6, MDCCXC.
(24vo, pp. vi + 208.)
	B. M. 528. a. 27.
	B. P., G. 3537.14.

--Elementos de la moral universel, o catecismo de la naturaleza,
por el baron de Holbach.  Madrid, 1820, imp. que fue de Fuentenebro,
lib de Sanchez en 8vo past.

--Principios de moral, o manuel de los deberes del hombre fundados
en la naturaleza.  Obra postuma de baron de Holbach.  Traducida al
espanol por D. L. M. G. adoptada en su mayor parte de la escuelas
de primera educacion para instruccion de los ninos.  Madrid, 1837,
imp. de Ferrer y compania lib de J Sanz.  (In 16mo.)





BIBLIOGRAPHY PART II.

GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY.


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Grande Encyclopedie.

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Wright, A History of French Literature.  London, 1912.





VITA


Max Pearson Cushing, born in Bangor, Maine, October 27, 1886;
Bangor High School, 1905; A.B. Bowdown College, 1909.  Instructor
in English, Robert College, Constantinople, 1909-1911; Graduate
Student in History, Columbia University, 1911-1913; A.M. Columbia, 1912,
Instructor in History, Reed College, Portland, Oregon, 1913- ----.








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