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Full text of "Memoirs of the Life of Voltaire."

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M^ E M O I R S 



O F T H E 



LIFE 



O P 



V O L T A I R E. 



I WRITTEN BY HIMSELF, 



Tranflated from the French, 



DUBLIN: 

Printed for Mcflrs, Moncriefpb, Walkbr^ 
ExsHAw, Wilson, Jenkin, Burtof/, 
Wh ITE, Byrne, Marchb/ink, 
Cash, and He bry. 

MDCCLXXXIV. 



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[ y ] 

Exfr'aB of a Letter from Par is^ 
dated May 2y 1784, 

Which may {erve as a Preface to 
this Edition of the Memoirs 
of Voltaire. 

— — J- HIS is not all the prefent 
news of Paris. They fpeak very 
much of the Memoirs of Voltaire, 
written by himfelf, two or three 
Editions of which have already 
been feized, and feven Bookfel- 
lers imprifoned. Voltaire is called 
ungrateful The Kiii^ ol^tx^Sv-^ 



[ vi ] 

is. flighty irritated, and is faid to 
be very imiiiy employed in writing 
an anfwer to thefe Memoirs. The 
friends of Voltaire allow them to 
be authentic, and nobody doubts 
it. The AmbafTador of •••**, his 
moft intimate friend, has afTured 
me he threw them in the fire ; 
but his deceitful Secretary, had in 
all probability, referved a copy, 
M. de Beaumarchais likewife is 
accufed of imprudence. But ac- 
cufations are fruitlefs. The Me- 



moirs 



[ vii ] 

moirs are really written by Vol- 
taire, and muft fbon or late become 
public. This Voltaire is a fort of 
malignant fpirit, who came upon 
earth only to embitter the cup of 
life, and afterwards laugh at our 
wry faces. 



^\^- 



U t M O I R 



O P 



VOLTAIRE. 



WRITTEN BY HIMSELF. 

1 WAS tired of the la^ and turbu- 
lent life led at Firis-, of the multi- 
tude of Petit-Maitres, of bad books 

• ■ 

pirinted with the approbation of Cen- 
fors and the privilege of the King, of 
the cabals and parties among the learn- 
ed, and of the mean atts, plagiarifm, and 
book-making which difhonour litera- 
tute» In the year 1733, I met with a 



2 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

young lady who happened to think neady 
as I did, and who toojc a refolution to 
go with me and fpend fevcral years in 
the country, there to cultivate her un- 
derftanding, - far from^the hurry and tu- 
mult of the world. 

t , .. . ^ - .: * - .-. r .A 

m 

This Lady was no other: than the 
Marchionefs de'Chatelet; who of all the 
women in France: had a roind the moft 
capable of the different branches' of 
fcience. Her father, thc; Baron de,Brfc- 
teuil, had tauglit her L^tiii, ' iwhiph (bk 
underftoodas perfe^Hy as [Madame Da- 
cier. She knew by rote the • mbH beau- 
tiful paffages in 'Horacev ^Virgil/ and liu- 
cretins, and all the philefophicarwoi»)os< 

of 



MEMOlks OF VOLTAIRE. 3 

of Cicero were familiar to her. Her 
inclinations were more' ftrongly bent to- 
wards'^ the mathematics and metaphyfic* 
than any other ftudies, and feldom have 
there been united in the fame perfon fo 
much juftnefs of difcernment, and ele- 
gance of tafte, with fo ardent a defire of 
information. 



Yet notwithftanding her love of lite- 
rature, fhe w^s not the lefs fond of the 
world, and thofe amufements which were 
adapted to her fex and and age: Ihe how- 
ever, determined to quit them all, and go 
and bury herfelf in an old ruinous cha- 
teau, upon the borders of Champagne 
and Lorraine, and fituated in a barren 



4 MEMOIRS OF V>OLTAIRE. 

aad unhealthy foil This old chateau 
fhe orpapiented, and cmbellifbed it with 
tolerably pretty gardens ; I built a g^l^ 
lery, and formed a very good coUedion 
of natural hiftory : add to which, we 

had a library not badly furnijpbecj. 

• ■ » 

We were vifited by fev^ral of the 
learned, who came to phijofophize in 
our retr^M ; ^mong others we had the 
celebrated Kpenig for two entire years, 
who has fince died profeflbr at the 
Hague, and Librarian to her Highnefs 
the Princefsof Orange. Maupertuis came 
alfo, with John Bernouilli j and there it 
was that Maiipcrtuis, who was born the 
moft jealous of all huaian beings, made 

me 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 5 

me the objedl of a paffion which has 
ever been to him exceedingly dear. 

I taught Englifh to Madame du Cha- 
tclet, who, in about three months, un- 
derftood it as well as I did, and read 
Newton, Locke, and Pope, with equal 
eafe. She learnt Italian likewlfe as 
foon. We read all the works of Taflb 
and Aribfto together, fo that when Al- 
garotti came to Cirey, where he finifhed 
his Neufonianifmo per le Ddthe^ [The La- 
dies Newton,] he found her fufficiently 
lkilf]^l in his own language to give him 
fbme very excellent, information by 
which he profited. Algarotti was a Vc^^ 
nctiaa, the fon of a very rich tradefr 

B 3 x^'iss.^ 



6 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

man, and very amiable ; he travelled all 
over Europe, knew a little of every thing, 
*and gave to every thing a grace. 

In this Qur delightful retreat we fought 
only inflrudion, and troubled not^our- 
felves concerning what pafled in the reft 
of the world. We long employ e4 all qur 
attention and powers upon Leibnitz and 
Newton : Madame du Chatelet attached 
herfelf firft to Leibnitz, and explained 
one pkrt of his fyftem^ in a book exceed* 
ingly well written, entitled Injiituttons de 
Phyjique. She did not feek to decorate 
philofophy with ornaments to which phi- 
lofophy is a ftranger; fuch afFedation 

never was part of her charader, which 

was 



MXMOIR6 OF VOLTAIJIE. ^ 

was tnafculinc and juft. The properties 
of her ilyle were clearncfi, precifion, 
aod elegance. If it be ever poffible to 
give the fembiance of truth to the ideas 
oi Leibnit^^ it will be found in that 
book 2 but at prefcnt few people trouble 
thcmfelves to know how ox what Leib- 
nitz thought. 

Born with a love of truth, ihe ibon 
abandoned fyfletn, and applied herfelf to 
the difcoveries of the great Newton ; fhe 
tranflated his whole book on the princi- 
ples of the Mathematics into French j 
and when ihe had afterwards enlarged her 
knowledge, fhe added to this book, which 
fo few people underftood, an Algebraical 



8 MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE. 

Commentary, which like wife is not to 
be underftood by common readers. M. 
Clairaut, one of our beft Geometricians, 
has carefully reviewed this commentary, 
an edition of it was begun, ?ind it is not 
to the honour* of the age, that it was 
never finifhed 



At Cirey we cultivated all the arts ; it 
was there I compofed AhirCy Merope^ 
r Enfant^ Prodigiie^ and Mahomet. Far 
her ufe I wrote an Eflay on Univerfal 

Hiftory,-from the Age of Charlemagne, 
to the pfefent. I chofe the epocha of 
Charlemagne, becaufe it was the point of 
time which BofTuet flopped at, and.be^ 

caufe 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 9 

caufe I durft not again treat a fubjed 
already handled by fo great a mafter. 



Madame duChatelet, however, was far 
from fatisficd with the Unfverfal Hiftory 
of this prelate ; Ihe thoijght it eloquent 
only, and was provoked to find that the 
labours of Boffuet were all wafted irpon 
a nation fo defpicable as the Jcwiih. 



After having fpent fix years in this 
retreat, in the midft of the arts and 
fciences, we were obliged to go to Bruf- 
feb, where the family of duChatelethad 
long been embroiled in a law-fuit with 
the family of Honfbrouk- 



W^\t» 



lO MEMOIRS OF VOMTAIRE, 

* • • ■ ^ ># » - 



Here I had the good fortune to meet 
with a grandfon of the illuftrious and 
unfortunate Grand Penfioner De Wit, 
who was firfl Prefident of the Chamber 
of Accounts, and had one of the fineft 
libraries in Europe, which was of great 
ufe to me in writing my Univerfal 
Hiflory. 

But I had a ftill fuperior happinefs at 
Bruffels, and which gave me infinite 

pleafure. I terminated the lawMfuitby 

an accommodation, in which the two 

'families had been ruining each other 

with expences for near lixty yearSj and 

gained two hundred and twenty thou- 
fand livres paid in ready moiaey to the 

Marquis du Chatelet* 

While 



JylEMOlRS OF VOLTAIRE. II 

4 

While t remained at Bruflels, and in 
the year' 1^74:0, the uhpoHfhed^ King of 
Pfuflla, Frederic- Witiiam, the moft 
intolerant of all Kings, and beyond 
contradiction Jthe moft frugal, and 
^he nicheft h\ ^rea^dy nipidcy, died at 
Berlin.- His fon, whd/has .fifice gain- 
ed fo fingular a kind of reputation, had 
then held a tolerably regular cbrrcfpori- 
dence with me for above fout years; 
The World never perhaps beheld , a 
father and fon who lefs refembled each 
other than thefe two Monarchs. 



The father was an abfolute Vandal, 
vfhOi thought of no other thing during 
his whole reign, than amafling of money, 

and 



12 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRB^. 

and maintaining, at the leaft poffibic ex- 
pence, the fineft foldiers in Europe. 
Never were fubjedts poorer, or King 
more rich. He bought up at a defpi-- 
cable price thJeftates of agfeat part of 
the Nobility, who foon devoured the 
little money they got fof them, above 
half of which returned to the royal cof- 
fers by means of the duties upon eoil* 
fumption. All the King's lands were 
farmed out to tax-gatherers, who held 
the double ofEce o( Excifeman and 
Judge 5 infomi^ch, that if a landed tenaiat 
did not pay this collcdor upon the very 
duy appointed, he put on his Judge's 
robe, and condemned the delinquent in 
double the fum. It muft be obfervcd, 

that 



MEMOIRS DF TOI^TAIRE, 13 

tkdt if tfafs fftfne Bxcifcmftn imd Judge 
dai not pay the Kmg by the iaft day of 
the month, the day fotlowmg he wag 
Irfmfcif obliged to pay double to the 

King. 

Did a man kifi a hare or lop a tree 
atiy ^v\/hcrc near the Royal domains, or 
commit any other Peccadillo j he was in- 
ftantly condemned to pay a fine. Was 
a poor girl found guilty of making a 

* » 

child ? the father or the mother, or 

T 

^ - i 

fome otiier of the girl's relations, were, 
obliged to pay his Majefty for the 
fn/bion. 



The 



\ 



14 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. > 

The Baronncfs of Kniphauflen, who 
at that time was the richefl widow in 
Berlin/ that is to fay, flic had between 
three and four hundred a year, was ac- 
cufed of having brought one of the 
King's fubjcds clandeflinely into the 
world in the fecond year of her widow- 
hood. His Majefty thereupon wrote 
her a letter, with his own hand, wherein 
he informed her it was neceffary, if flic 
meant to fave her honour, and preferve 
her charader, flie muft immediately fend 
him thirty thoufand livres (1250I.) 
This fum flie was obliged to borrow, and 
was ruined. 



He 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. I5 

He had an AmbafTador at the Hague, 
whofe name was Luifiusj and certainly 
of all the Ambaffadors that appertained 
to royalty, he was paid the worft. This 
poor man, that he might be able to keep 
a fire, had cut down fomc trees in the 
garden of Hous-lardick, which then ap- 
pertained to the Royal-houfe of Pruffia. 
His next difpatches brought him word> 
that the King, his gracious Sovereign 
had flopped on this account a year's 
falary to defray his damages, andLuifius, 
in a fit of defpair, cut his throat with the 
only razor he had* An old valet, hap- 
pening to come in,, called affiftance, and 
unhappily for him faved his life, I 
afterwards met with his Excellency at 



l6 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE^ 

the Hague, and gave him alms at a gate 
of the Palace, which iscalled the Otd 
Court, and which belonged to the King 
of Pruffia, where this poor Ambaflador 
had lived twelve years. 

Turkey it muft be Gonfeffed is a Re- 
public, when compared to the defpotifm 
exercifed by this Frederic-William, 

It was by fuch like means, only, that 
he could in a reign of twenty-eight years 
load the cellars of his Palace at Berlin 
with a hundred and twenty millions of 
crowns (fifteen millions flerling), all 
well cafked up in barrels hooped with 

iron. 

He 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. - 1 7 

He took great plealure in fumifhing 
all the bell apartments of the Palace 

with heavy articles of niafly filver, in 
which the worth of the workman fur- 
paffed not the ftcrling of nature. He 
gave to the Queen his wife^ in charge 
that is> a cabinet, the contents of whicn 
even* to the coffee-pot were all gold. 

The Monarch ufed to walk from: Yas: 
Palace cloathed in an old blue coat, with 
topper buttons, halfWay down his thighs, 

* 

^id when he bought a new one, thefe 
Buttons were made to ferve again, ft 
was in this drefs that his M'ajeffy, armed- 
with a huge ferjcanlfs cane, marcHed 
forth- every day to review his regiment 



i 



l8 MIEMOmS OT VOLTAIRE. 

of giants. Thefe giants were his greateft 
delight, and the things for which he 
Dvent to the heavieft expence. 

The men who flood in the firft rank 
of this regiment were none of them lels 
than feven feet high, and he fent to 
purehafe them from the farther pa^ls Qf 
Europe to the borders of Afia. I have 
feen fome of theffi fincii his death. 

The King, his fon, who lov^d band^ 
fome men, and not gigantic, hdd given 
thofe I faw to the Q^een, his wife, to 
ferve in quality of Heiduques. I re- 
member they accompanied the old ftate 

coach, which preceded the Marquis de 

Beauvau, 



UBMOimi OF YOLVAIRBi. 19 

teeauvan, who came fo compliment the 

liew King in the month of NoTcmber, 
1740. The late King Frederic- William, 
who had fbfcl^ during his life all ttie mag- ^ 
nificent furniture left by hU father, 
never could find a purchaier fdf that 
enormous ungilt coach. The Heidu- 
ques, who walked on each fide to fup- 
port it in cafe it fhould fall, (hook hands 
with each other over the roof* 

After Frederio-William fiadteviewtd 
his giants, he ufed to walk through the 

r 

town, and every body fled before him 
full fpeed. If he happened to meet a 
woman, he would demand why fhe ftaid 
idling her time in the ftreets, and ex-* 

i 



20 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRISM 

claim, Go— get home with you^ you lazy 
huffy \ dn honeji woman has no hujinejs 
over the threjbold of her own door\ which 
remonilrance he would accompany with 

a hearty box on the ear, a kick in the 
groin, or a few well applied flrokea on 
the fhouldcrs with his cane^ 



The holy Mjiy fters of the Gofpcl were 
treated alfo in exadily the fame ftyle, if 
they happened to take a fancy to come 
upon the parade*. 

V 

Wemaytafily imagine, what would 
be the aftonifhment and vexation of a 
Vandal like this, to find he Jiad a fon 
endowed with wit, grace, and good 

breeding i 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. Zl 

'^''eedmg ; who delighted to pleafe, was 
^ager in the acquifition of knowledge, 
^nd who made verfes, and afterwards fet 
them to mufic. If he caught him mitha 
book in his hand, he threw it in the fire ; 
or playiqg on the flute, he broke his in- 
ftruAieiit; and fometimes trqated his 
Royal Highnefs, as he treated the fadies 
and the preachers when he met with 
tlieca 6ft the pirade. 



tht Prince, weary of the atfcntioAs 
of fo kind a father, determined onfc fine 
momittg, ha 1730; t<y elope, withotit well 
knoxvTflg whetaieyhtt Wotifd" ffy to France 
or Bngland. Paternal oecdnomy had de- 
prived him of the power of travelling in 



22 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAFRE. 

the Hyle of fon and heir to a farmer- 
general, or even ail Englifh tradefman, 
and he was obliged to borrow afewhun*- 
dred ducats. 



Two young gentlemen, both very- 
amiable, one named Kat^ the other 
Keit, were to accompany him, Kat was 
the only fon of a brave General OflScer, 

and Keit had married the daughter of the 
fame Barronncfsof Kniphauflen, who had 
paid the ten thoufand crowns about the 
child-making bufinefs before mentioned. 
The day and hour were appointed J the 
father was informed of the whole affair> 
and the Prince aad his two travelling 

s 

com- 



^ENflORS OP VOLTAIRE. 2$ 

companions were all three put under an 
arreft. 



The King believed at firft, that the 
Princefs Wilhelmina, his daughter, who.. 

was afterwards married to the Prince 
Margrave of Bareith, was concerned in . 
the plot : and as he was remarkable for 
difpatch in the executive branch of jus- 
tice, he proceeded to kick her out of a 

large window, which opened from the 
floor to the ceiling. The Qjicen- 
Mother, who was prefent at this exploit, 
with greatdiiEculty faved her, by catching 
hold of her petticoats at the moment ihe 
was making her leap. The Princefs re- 
ceived a contufion on her left breaft, 



24 MEMOmS OP VOLTAWiE. 

wlrich real ained with Bcrdtsri rig life, as a, 
mark of paternal afFedion, and which 
fhe did me the honour to (hew me. 



, ' The Prince had a fort of miftrcfs, the 
daughter of a (chool-maiSer, of the town 
of Braodebourg, who had fettled at Pots- 
dam. Thh girl played tolerably ill upon 
the harpficord; and the Prince accompa- 
nied her with his flute. He really ima^ 
giked'liimfelf in love, but in this he was 
deceived; his avocation was not with 
the Jairjex. However, as he had pre- 
tended a kind of pafllon, the king, his 
father, thought proper that the damfel 
fhould make the tour of Potzdam, con- 
duced by the hangman, and ordered 

het 



fer to b6 tt^ippcid m prefence of hil 
fob. 



After he had riegdJed htm With this 
diverting fpcdacle, he made a transfer 
df him to the citadel of CufJrin, which 
^*ras fituktad in the fnidft of i tfaarfh 
Mere he v^as fliut up, witliout a finglc 
iervant, for the fpace oFfix months, in a 

fort of dungeon, at the end of which time 
he was allowed a foldier as an attendant. 

This foldier, who was^young, well 
made, handfome, and played upon the 
flute, had more ways than one of amiifing 
the royal prifoner. So many fine quali- 
ties have made his fortune ^ and I have 



26 MSMOIUS OF VOLTAIRE. 

fince knownhim, at the fame time Valet 
de Chambre and firft Minifter, with all 
the infolence which two fuch pofts may 
be fuppofed to infpire. 

The Prince had been fome weeks in 

his Palace at Cuftrin, when one day an 
old officer, followed by four grenadiers, 
iilimediately entered his chamber, melted 
in tears. Frederic had no doubt he was 
going to be made aheadfhorter ; but the 
officerftill weeping,ordered the grenadiers 
to take him to the window, and hold his 
head out of it, that he might \>e obliged to 
look on the execution of his friend Kat, 
upon a fcafFold exprefly built there for 
that purpofe. He faw, ftretched out his 

hand. 



MEMOIRS aP VOLTAIRE. 27 

land, and fainted. The father was pre- 
fent at this exhibition, as he had been at 
that of the girl's whipping-bout,. 

Kelt, the other confidant, had efcapcd 
and fled into Holland, whither the King 
difpatchedhis military meflcngers to feize 
him. Heefcaped merely by a minute, 
embarked for Portugal, and there re- 
mained till the death of the moil clement 
Frederic William. 

It was not the King*s intention to have 
Hopped there; his defign was to have 
beheaded the Prince. He confidered 
that he had three other fons, not one of 
whom wrote verfes, and that they were 

fufficient 



aS N(£MOIRS OFVOI^TA|Rt» 

fufficient to fuftain. the PrufliaagraQdcmn 
Meafure& had been already concerted to 
make him fufTer, as the C^arovitz^ eldeft 
fon to Peter the Great, had done before. 



It IS not exceedingly clear, from any 
known laws, human or divine, that a 
young man Ihould have his head ftruck 
o^y becaufe he had a wifh to travel. But 

his Majefty had found judges in Prufliat 
equally as learned and equitable as the 
Ruffian expounders of law. Befides that 
his own paternal authority, in a cafe of 
need, would at any time fulEce. 



The Emperor Charles the Sixth, how- 
ever pretended that the Prince Royal, 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. Zq 

as a prince of the Empire, could not 

ftifFer condemnation but in a full diet ; 

and fent the Count de Sekendorf to the 

father, in order to make very ferious re* 

Daonftrances on that fubje(S. 

The Count de Sekendorf^ whom I have 
fince known in Saxony, where he lives 
fctiredj has declared to me, it was with ^ 
very, great difficulty indeed^ that he could 

prevail with the King not to behead the 
Prince. This is the fame Sekendorf "who 
has commanded the armies of Bavaria.^ 
and of whom the Prince, when he came 
to the throne, drew a hideous portrait, 
in the hiftory of his father, which he in- 
fertcd in fome thirty copies of his Mc- 



i 



30 MEMOIRS OF VOLT AIRE. 

moires de Brandebourg*. Who would 
not, after this, fervc Princes, and preveirt 
tyrants from cutting ofF their heads ? 

After eighteen months imprifonmeot, 
the folicitations of the Emperor, and the 
tears of the Queen, obtained the Prince 
his liberty ; andheimmediately began to 
make verfes, and write mufic more th^ 
ever. He read Leibnk«, and even 
Wolf, whom he called a compiler of 
trafh, and devoted himfelf to the whole 
circle of fciences at once. 

* I gav^ the Elector Palatine the copjof thii work, 
bich tb€ King of Pniffia prefented to me. 



which 



As 



MEMOIRS OF ▼OcX.TAl&Xl 3 1 



A^ the. Kin^ his &ther, fnffefed hiip 

ha'VQ TC17 Ittdje todo with the natiDnot 

sUSatfs, or asi tiicm rather indeed wefcim 

ifirch a&irs iom a goveniment, the ^ole 

l>ufiners of ^hteh was reviews, he <5Ib»- 

ployed his Icifure in writing to thofe 

men of letters in France, who were 

ibraething known in the world,. Thefe 

letters were fome in verfe, and others 

were treatifts of metaphyfics, hiftoryi 

and politics. He treated me as a fome- 

thing divine^ and I him as a Solomon. 

Epithets coft us nothing. They have 

printed fome of thefe ridiculous things 

in a colledJion of my works, and happily 

they have not printed the thirtieth part 

of them, I took the liberty to fend him 



^Z MEMOIRS OP VOLTAlIRE. 

an exceedingly beautiful ink-ftand ; he 
had the bounty to prefent me with a few 
gcw-gaws of amber, and all the wits of 
the Parifian cofFee-houfes imagined with 
horror my fortune was made. 

A young Couria.nder, named Kelzer- 
ling, who was like wife a rhymer, and of* 
courfe a favourite with Frederic, was 
difpatched from the frontiers of Pomera- 
nia to us at Cirey. We prepared a feaft 
for him, and I made a fine illumination, 
the lights of which compofed the cypher, 
and the name of the Prince Royal, with 
this device, TEfperance du genre hiimain : 
— The hope of all nations. 



For 



MEMOIRS OF VQLTAIRS^ 33 

For my ovjrn part, h^d I been inpHne4 

to ivfidxfig^ perfonal hopes> I had great 

TeaCon fa to do ^ for my Prinpc alway? 

called me his dear friend^ in his letters, 
and fpoke firoqucntlyof lhey^//4f marks 

o£ fri^ijd&ip which hfi defigned for roe 

^% f90a a* ho ih^ul4 i^iPMnt thfi throne. 

Xbp ^rQoc ftjt laft was mounted; wbik 
I waa at BrufTerls^ and, he began his reign: 

b^ fending an AmbafTador Bstraordi^ 
naiy to France } one Camas,, who had 
loft an arm, formerly a French rcfugeOi 
andthenan.ofRcec in th^ Pr.uiCan army* 
He faid that, asthora was a Minifter 
from tho French court at Berlin, who 
had but one hand, he, that he might ac- 



34 MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE, 

quit himfelf of all obligation towards the= 
Moft Chriftian King, had fent him an 
Ambaflador with only one arm. 

Camas, as foon as he arrived fafe at 
his inn, difpatched a lad to me, whom 
he had created his page, to tell me that 
he was too much fatigued to come to my 
houfc, and therefore begged I would 
come to him inftantly, he having the 
fineft, greateft, and moft magnificent pre- 

fent that ever was prefented, to make me 
on the part of the King his mafter. 
Run — run as faft as you can, faid Ma- 
dame du Chatelet, he has affuredly fent 
you the diamonds of the crown. 

Away 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 35 

Away I ran, and found, my Ambaffa- 
^or, whofe only baggage was a fmall 
ieg of wine, tied behind his chai(e, fent 
from the cellar of the late king by the 
reigning Monarch, with a ro^al com- 
mand for me to drink. I emptied 
myfclf in proteftations of aftoniihment 
and gratitude for thefe /i^uid m^rks of 
his Majefty's bounty, inftead of the JoIiJ 
ones I had been taught to exped, and 
divided my keg with Camas. 

My SoJomon was then at Strafbourg j 
the whim had taken him while he was 
vifiting his long and narrow land, which 
extends from Guelders to the Baltic 

• • • ■ . » 

ocean, that he would come incognito to 

view 



56 WifeMfOlftS or VtiLYAlRlfe. ^ 



view the. frontiers and troops of France, 
This pleafure he enjoyed at Strafbourg, 
* where he went by the name of count du 
Four, a Lord of Bohemia, His brother, 
the Prince Royal, v%^ho was with him, had 
alfo his travelling title ; and Algaroti, 
who already had attached himfelf to him, 
wjs the only one who went unmarked. 

ttis majefty fent mc a hiflory of his 
journey to Brultels, half verfe, half 
profe, written in a tafte fomething fimi- 
lar to that of Bachaumont and la Cha-- 
pcUc 5 that is to fay, as (imilar as a King 
of Pruffia's could be fuppofed to be. 
The following arc extradJs from his 
letter. 



*^ Mlw 



IIBMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 37 

** After thcfc abominable roads, we 
** were obliged to put up at ftill more 
^^ abominable inns. 



" Hungry and cold, and Itte at night, 
*' Each' thicvifli faoft beheld our plight f 

'* And eachr with more than frugal- fift» 
'' (Stew'dfirft in moft infernal mift) 
** Would poifon us,, and after rob us, 
•* Happj to think how they could fob us. 
<* Oh times I when robbing is fb common I 
** Oh age i how wide from age of Roman ! 



" Roads frightful, food bad, drink 

*' worfe. This was not all j we met 

« 

** with many accidents j and to be fure 
** our equipage muft have fomething 
*' very 6dd about it, for every place we 



f 



58 MEMOIRS OF v6itAii», 

" paffed tbrotigh tfiejr toofe uS f6^ out- 
^* lahdifh anixnalj.* 



• r 

1 






** One ftares> and Monarch) us believeffy 
** Others fafpc^v^eVe civil thieves; 

« Some think us late let Joofe fx(^ $oJkge, 
« And eager ail of ftrthar k^owlfl(^gf , . 
<< Thej croud iHd fqiiinty |ind wifh ; to fmoke «2i| 
*^ As cockneya gajie i^t lio^us^pocus. 



< / 



, . . • f • ■ . .. . • - .-i 



cc 



*' The mafter of Ae poft^ho^tfe atKell 
" having iffured «s ihttt wki no ikffety 

without paflports, and feeing we were 
'* drove th an abfeWfe necelS't;ft^ii!i'ak- 
'' ing'them foir SuffelVe^, or offlDt^eft- 
*' terihg Btrafbourg, We Wef 6 ^^en forced 
*' to this Aift, ih the ekect!t|6m:i3f whicif , 
^^ the Pruffian a'rhis, i^hich I ha^^ipdh 
*t n)y feal, were mkrvelloufly ufeful. 



^' Vfe arrived* ait Strafbourg, and the 
^? CoK/(S{ir£ de la douanei and the Kijiteun 

^ dfe^iftpd iatisfied with our proofs. 

*^ The rafcals found theipfelyes In p1oyer» 

'* With one eye read our pafTports orcrr 

'' And fix'd the other on our purfe^ 

^ Determin'd we fhould reimburfe 

^ TKeif painjif yM\ guineas good and many ; 

^ 'T hU3 gotd, with wiich Jove bought Mi& Danac, 

" Thu« gold, with which your migl^ty Caefar 

*« Govern'd the world with wondrous eafe, Sir ; 

" Gold, greater far than all the noddies, 

" Yclepcd or cither God or Goddefs, 

*^ Soon brought the Ccoundreb to adore us, 

^ And op? the gate^of Suafcourg for us V 

We 

• P^l^RS it is impoffiblc to repder the true fpirit of. 
Oiefe tjttne;^, wd other? Inferred \t^ i\i^feU^NSi^Nt^>^^>^- 



I ^ ■ ■ ■ ^ I 



40 MEMOIRS OF VOL*AIRB. 

We may fee by this letter, that he was 
not yet become the beft of all poillble . 
poets, and that his philofophy did not 
look with total indifference on the metal 
of which his father had made fuch ample 
provifion. 



I^rom Stralhourg he went to vifit his 
territories in the Lower Germany, and 
fent me word he would come incognito 
to fee me at Bruffcls. We prepared ele- 
gant apartments for him in the little 
Chateau de Meufe, two leagues' from 
Cleves. ''He informed me, heexpiefled 

I fliould 

V 

out appearing ciiher ftupid or extratagant | though li- 
berties have been taken in the ^y\c> Vf^vkV >«WiVi 
^sirci^ly bs judlEnhJc in otherparls of Uvc viotVs., *T. 



MEMOJ&S OF VOLTAIRE. 41 

I (houlcj wake the firft advances, and ac- 
jgoiidiingly I went to pay hinj my moft 
ji^ofpund refpeds. 

Maupertuis, who had already formed 
ijis pAan, haying the mania of becoming 
PreiideBt of an Academy upon him, had 
pT'e^ted himfelf, and was lodged with 
AlgatotiandKeizerling in one of the gar- 
rets in the palace. One foldicr was the 
only guard I found. The Privy-Conn- 
fellor arid -Minifter of State, Hambonet, 
wa5 walking in the court- yard, Wowing 

his fingers. He had on a pair of large, 

dirty, coarfc ruffles, a hat all iu holes, and 

' an old judge's wig, one fide of which 

hung into his pocket, and the other 

E 3 ^c?v\c^^ 



42 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

fcarcely touched his Ihoulder. They 

' informed me, that this man was charged 

with a ft^tc affair of great importance, 
and fo indeed he was. 



I was conduded into his Majefty's 
apartment, in which I found nothing but 
four bare walls. By the light of a bougie, 
I peirceived a fmall truckle bed^ of two 
feet and a half wide, in a clofet, upcm 
which lay a little man, wrapped up in a 
morning gown of blue cloth. It was his 

Majefty, who lay fweating and (bakings 
beneath a beggarly coverlet, in a vio- 
lent ague fit. I made my bow, and 
began my acquaintance by feeling his 

pulfe, as if I had been his firft phyfician. 

The 



MBMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 43 

The fit left him, and he rofe, drefled 

himfelf, and fat down to tabic with Alga-- 

'oti, Keizerling, Maupertuis, the Am- 

baflkdor to the States-General, and my- 

^If. While we. were at fupper, wc 

treated moft profoundly on the immor« 

^^lijy of the foul, natural liberty, and the 

^ndrogmes o£ ?l^to. 

While we were thus philofophizing 
upon freedom, the Frivy-Counfellbr 
Rambonet, was mounted upon a poft 
horfe, and riding all night towards Liege, 
at the gates of which he arrived the next 

day, where he proclaimed, with found of 
trumpet, the name of the King his maf- 
er, vrhile two thoufand foldiers from Ve- 



J^. MEMOIRS OP VOtTAIRS. 

ibl was laying tHc pity of Liege under 
contribution. The pretext for this pretty 
expedition wfis certain riglits, whiph his 
Majefty pretended to have over the 
Aibiffbs. It was to me be committed 
the taik of drawing up the manifefto. 
Which. I performed as w^li as the nature 
of the cafe would let me; never ili^e^l- 
ing that a King, with whom Ifupped, and 
who palled ngie his friend, couW poffibly 
be in the wrong. The affair was foon 
brioughtfb a conclufion, by the payment 
ef a million of livres, which he cxaded 
in good hard ducats, and which ferved to 
defray the e^cpences of his tour to Straf- 
bourg, concerning which he complained 
fo loudly in iiis poetic profe cpiftle. 

\ tooxv 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE, 45 

I foon felt my felf attached to him, for 

Tic had wit, an agreeable manner, and 

^was moreover, a King; which is a cer- 

<:um{tance of fedudion hardly to be van- 

quifhed by human weaknefs. Generally 

fpeaking, it is the employment of men of 

letters to flatter Kings ; but in this in- 

ftance, I was praifed by a King, from the 

crown of my : head to the fole of my 

foot, at the fame time that I was libelled, 

at leaft once a week, by the Abbe Des 

Fontaines, and other Grub-ftreet poets 

of Paris. 



Some time before the. death of his 
father, the King of Pnjffia thought pro* 
per to write againft the principles of 



46 MEMOIRS OF yaLTAIBVE. 

Machiavel Had Machiay^I had a Prince 
for a ptrpil, the very firft thing he would 
have advifed him to do, would have heca 
fo to write. Thp Prince S^oyal, howrr 
ever, was not mafter of fo much fineffe j 
he really meant what he writ; but it was 
before he was a King, and while his 
father gave him no great reafoii to fall 

in love with ^sfpQtic power. He praifed 
moderation with his whole foul ; and in 

the ardour of his enlhiifiaim^ looked up- 
on all ufurpation m abfolut? injv^ftice, 

« 

This manufcript he had fent to me at 
Bruffels, to haye it corrected and printed . 
and I had already made a prefent of it to 
a Dutch bockfeller, one V^ndyreo, one 



MIEkJOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 47 

of the greatefl knaves bf his profcflion. 
I could tiot help feeling fome remorfe, 
at being concerned in printing this Anti- 
Machiavelian book, at the very moment 
the King of Prufllk, who had a hundred 
millions in his coffers, was robbing the 
poor people at Liege of another, by the 
hands of the Privy-Counfellor Ram- 

r 

bonet. 

I imagiiied my Sdldnfwfti WbmM a^ 
ilop there. His fetthei: had left birtifijcty- 
iixthoufand four hiinired men, all com'- 
plete, and excellent troops. He was 
bufiiy auginfenting th'dtn, and appeared 
to have a vatt inclination to give them 
employment the very firft opportunity. 






48 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIKB. 

I reprcfented to him,rthat perhaps it 
was not altogether prudent to print his 
book juft at the time the world might 
reproach him with having violated th^ 
principles he taught ; and he permitted 
me to flop the impreffion. I accordingly^ 
took a journey into Holland, purpofeljr 
to do him this trifling fervice 5 but the 
bookfeller demanded^ fo much money, 
that his Majefty, who was not, in the 
bottom of his heart, vexed to fee himfelf 

in print, was better pleafed to be fo for 
nothing, than to pay for not being fo. 

* 

While I was in Holland, ocpupied in 
this bufinefs, Charles the Sixth died, in 
the month of Odobei:, 1740, of an in- 

digellioni 




M£MOIR9 OF VOLTAIRE, 49 

^ i^eilion, occaficnaed by eating charapig-.- 
which brought on an apople^iy^ 

this (rfate of champignons changed 
dcflftiny of Europe, It was prefently 

vident) that Frederic the third. King of 

J^ruiHa, was not lb greaft an enemy ta 

V 

IMachiard as the Prince Royal ap- 
peared to hxs^ been. 

Although he had then conceived the 
projedl of his invafion of Silefia, he did 
not the lefs ncgled to invite me to his 
courts but I had before given him. to 
underftand I could not come to ftay with 
him y that I deemed it a duty jto prefer 
fricndfhip to ambition 5 that I was at- 
tached to Madame du Chatelet^ and 

F \\c\\^ 



^O MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE. 

that, between philofophers, I loved a 
lady better than a King. He approved 
of the liberty I took, though for his own 
part he did not love the ladies. I went 
to pay him a vifit in Odober j and the 
Cardinal de Fleury writ me a long let- 
ter, full of praifes of the Anti-Machia- 
vel, and of the author, which I did not 
forget to let him fee. 

He had already affembled his troops, 
yet not one of his Generals or Miniflers 
could penetrate into his defigns. The 
Marquis de Beauvau, who was fent to 
complement him on his acceflion, believ- 
ed he meant to declare againfl France, 
in favour of Maria-Therefa, Qjieen of 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. Jt 

Hungary and Bohemia, and daughter of 
Charles the Sixth j and to fupport the 
cledion of Francis of Lorraine, Grand 
Duke of Tufcany, and hufb^nd of that 
Qjieen,.to theempireyfuppofing he fntght 
thence derive great advantages. 

I had more reafon than any perfon l:> 
fuppofe, the new-crowned King of Pruflia 
meant to cfpoufe this party ; for three 
months before, he had fent me a political 
diiTertation after his manner, wherein he 
confidered France as the natural enemy 
and depredator of Germany. But it was 
Conftitutional with him to do the direct 
contrary of what he faid or writ j not 
from diflimulation, but becaufe he fpokc 



§2 MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE. 

and writ with one kind of cnthufiafm, 
and afterwards acftcd with another. 

He departed on the 1 5th of December^ 
with the quartan ague, for the conqueft 
of Silefia, at the head of thirty thoufand 
combatants, well difciplined, and well 
accoutred. As he mounted his horfc, 
he faid to the Marquis de Beauvau^ 
Maria Therefa's Minifter, " I am going 
to play your game ; fhould thd trumps 
fall into your hands, we will divide the 
winnings.'* 



He has fince that written the hillory of 
that conqueft, and he (hewed me the 
whole of it. Here follows one of the 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE, 53 

urious paragraphs, in the introdudioa 
to thefe annals, which I, in prcfen^ncCy 
carefully tranfcribcd, as a thing unique 
in its kind. 

" Add to the foregoing confidera- 
** tions, I had troops entirely prepared 
** to ad ; this, the fulnefs of my trea- 
*• fury, and the vivacity of my charac- 
" ter, were the reafons why I made war 
" upon Maria-Therefa, Qjieen of Bo- 
•' hernia and Hungary." 

* 

And a few lines after, he has theie 
Very words, 

c " Ambition, iiitereft, and a defire i& 
•* make the world fpcak of me, Van- 

F 3 '^^ o^\^^$s, 



54 MfiMOIRS OF rOLTAIRB. 

^^ quifhed all, and war was determined 
*• on/' 



From the time that the conquerorf, or 
fiery fpirits that would be conquerors* 
firft were, to the prefent hour, I believe 
he is the only one who has ever done 
himfelf thus much juftice. Never man, 
perhaps, felt reafon more forcibly, or 
liftened more attentively to his pafiions; 
but this mixture of a philofophic mind, 
and a diforderly imagination, have ever 
compofed his charader. 

It is much to be regrettedWthat I pre- 
vailed on him to omit thefe pai&ges, 
when I irfterwards corre^d his works j 



MEMOIRS OF ^OLTAIR^. 55 

a confeflion fo uncommon, fhould haire 
pafTed down to po&eritjy and ba^ ftrved 
to fhew upon what motives the generali- 
ty cf wars ate ftmhAcd. We authors, 
poets, hiUDriaJiiy audi acatdcmictaifi die^ 
daimersy celefaiate thefe fine exploits) 
bat hct^ h a ihonard^ v^Ano perfetmt and 
condemn^ them. 



His troops had already ovet-ittti Sile- 
fia, when his Minifter at Vienna, the 
Ikiron de Getter, niiad^ the rerf impou 
lite propofal^ tolVferia-Therefa, ef ecding, 
with a good grace, to the Ble^or and 
King his mafter, three-fourths of that 
province : for whichhis Praflian Miajcfty 

•would 



V 



56 MEMOIRS OF VOLtAlRB^ 

would lend her three millions of crowns, 
and make her hufband Bmperor. 



Maria-Thercfa, who at that time had 
jicither troops, money, nor credit, was not- 

withflanding inflexible ; (he rather chofe 
to rifk the lofs of all^ than crouch to a 
Prince whom fhe looked upon as the vaC- 

fal of her anceftors, and whofe life the 
Emperor, her father^ had faved. Her 
Generals could fcarcely mufter twenty 
thoufand men, Marfhal Neuperg, who 
commanded them, forced the King of 
Pruffia to give battle under the walls of 
Neiffe. The Pruffian cavalry was at 
firft put to the rout by the Auftriaji j 

iind 



MitMOIES OF VOLTAIRE. 57 

and the King, who was not accuilomed 
to ftand fire, fled at the firft fliock as far 
as Opcleim, twelve loi^g leagues from the 
field of battle. 

Maupertuis, who hoped to make his 
fortune in a hurry, was in the fuit of the 
Moaarch this compaign, imaginings that 
the King would at leaft find him a horfe. 
But this was not the royal cufiom. Mau« 
pertuis bought an afs for two ducats, on 
the day of battle, and fled with all his 
might after his Majefty on afs-back. 
This fteed, however, was prefently dif- 
tanced, and Maupertuis was taken and 
flripped by the Auilriaa hufl^rs. 



$8 MEMOIRS OF VOLTHtKt. 

Frederic paffed the night on a truckle- 
bed, in a village alehoufe near Ratibor, 
on the confines of Poland, whence he 
was preparing to enter the northern part 
of his own dominions,, when one of his 
horfemen arrived from the camp at Mol- 
witz, and informed him he had gained 
the vidory. This news was confirmed 
a quarter of an hour after by an Aid-de« 
Camp, and was true enough. 

If the Pruflian cavalry was bad, the 
infantry was the beft in Europe j it had 
been under the difcipline of the old 
Prince of Anhalt for thirty years. Mar- 
shal Schwerin, who commanded, was a 
pupil of Charles the Twelfth. He turned 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 59 

t^c fate of the day as foon as the King 
was fled. The next day his Majefty came 
back to his army, and the conquering 
General was very near being difgraced. 

I returned to philofophize in my re- 
treat at Cirey, and pafled the winter at 
l^aris, where I had a multitude of ene- 
mies; for, having long before written 
the Hiflory of Charles XII. prefented 
feyeral fuccefsful pieces to the theatre, 
and compofed an epic poem, I had, of 
courfe, all thofe who either writ in vcrfe 
or profe as perfecutors ; and as I had the 
audacity to write likewife on pliilofophic 
fiibje^s, I of ncceffity yvsLS treated as an 

atheift 



6o MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

atheifl by all thofe who are called dcvo- 
tees, according to the ancient ufage. 



~r 



I was the firft who had dared develop 
to my countrymen, in an intelligible 
ftyle, the difcoveries of the great New- 
(te»i. The Caftefian prejudices, which 

had taken place of the prejudices of the 
Peripatetics, were at that time fo rooted 
in the minds of the French, that tiw 
ChancellcH? d^Agtie^eau legarded tof 
man whatever who fbould adopt dilco^ 
veries made in England, as an enemy to 
reafon and the ftate. He never would 
grant a privilege that I might have my 
Elements of the Newtonian Philojophy 
printed. 



^ »■ 



M£MOIRS OPTaLfAIRB. 6l 



^^ J . wa« Ufe^wife a V9& admirer ojF 
X^rocke^ I confidered him as the ible 
^eaibnahie Metaphjiician. Above a)l» I 
praifed that inoderation {6 new, lb pru- 
rient, and at the fame time fo daring,- 

where he fays, we have not fuffident 
knowledge to determine or affirm, hy 
the light of reafon, tliat God could not 
grant the gifts of thought and fenfation 
to a being which ^e call Material; 

. The obftinate malignity and intrepi- 
dity of ignorance, with which they fet 
upon me on this article, cannot be con-^ 
ceived. The principles of Locke had 
never occafioned any difputes in France 
before, becaufe the DodJors read St. 



62 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

Thomas Aquinas, and the reft of the 
world read Romances. As foon as I 
had praifed this Author, they began to 
cry out againft both him and me. The 
poor creatures, who were hott6ft in this 
difpute, certainly knew very little of 
either matter or fpirit. The fad is, we 
none of us know what or how we arc, 
except that we are convinced we have 
motion, life, fenfation, and thought, but 
without having the leaft conception of 
how we came by them. The very ele- 
ments of matter are as much hidden from 
fts as the reft. We are blind creatures, 
that walk on, groping and reafoning in 
the dark; and Locke was exceedingly 
ri^ht when he averted, it was not 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 63 

for US to determine what the Almighty 
Could or could not do. 

All this, added to the fuccefs of my 
theatrical productions, drew a whole li- 
brary of pamphlets down upon me, in 
which they proved I was a bad Poet, 
an Atheift, and the fon of a Peafant. 

A hiftory of my life was printed, in 
which this genealogy was infer ted— An 
induftrious German took care to colle£k 
all the tales of that kind, which had been 
crammed into the libels they had pub- 
lifhed againft me. They imputed ad- 
ventures to me with perfons I never 
knew„ and with others that never exifted^ 



64 .MSMOIR8 OF yOLTAISB. 

I have found while writing this, a Icttar 
from the Marfhal de Richelieu, which 

informed me of an impudent Lampoon, 

in which it was proved his wife had 

given me an elegant coach, w^ithy&;»if/^>i(f 

elfe^ at a time when he had no wife. 

At firft I took fome pleafqre in making 
a coUediion of thefe caiumnies, but 
they multiplied to fuch a degree I was 
obliged to leave off. Such were tb« 
fruits I gathered from my labours : J, 
however, ealily confoled myfelf j fomc- 

times in my retreat at Cirey, and at 
others in mixing with the befi company. 

While the refufe of literature were 
thus making war upon me, France was 



MEMOIKS^OT VOLTAIRBt 6^ 

doing the fame upon the Qjieen of Hun- 
gary j and it muft be owned, this war 
was equally unjuft J for after having fo- 
Icmnly ftipulated, guaranteed, and fwortf 
to the Fragmatic Sandtion of the Em- 
peror Charles VL and the fucceffion of 
Maria-Therefa to the inheritance of her 
father, and after having received Lor- 
raine as the purehafe of theie promiics^ 
it docs not . appear very confiftent with 
the rights of nations to Break an en- 
gagement Co facred^ The Cardinal dc 
Fleury was perfuaded out of his pacific 

meafuresj he could not iay, like^ th© 
King of PruflTa, it was the vivacity of his^ 
temperwhichoccafioncdhimtot^kearmaK 
This fortunate Prelate reigned when he 



66 MBMOIRS OF VOLTAIKl. 

was eighty-fix years of age, btit held the 
reins of government with a very feebte 
hand. 



France v^as in alliance with the King 
of Prttflia, when he feized upon Silefid j 
and had fent two aritiies ifito GeriiMitiy 
at a timewhissi Ma^riahTherefa had iiiond. 
One of thde 2tritiie& had penetrntetf td 
within five leagues of Vienna, without: 
meeting a fingle opponent j Bohemia 
was given to the Bledlor of Bavaria, who 
was ele6ed Eneiperor alfo, after having 
been created Lientensnt-Oeaeral of tbe 
armies of the King of France. They 
foon, however, committed dl the faulti 

neceiTary 



} 



lif«M6ftl« lot VCLtAIttS. 67 

txtcdtiLty td hi^ the advisiiitages they 
had gained. 

The Kiftg of Pfuffia, in the meSA 
tiAe, hirrifig matured hifc oourogey and 

m 

^iucA fevcfial vidon'ts, concluded a 
Peaoe ^itb the Auftrimt. MatriO) to Iier 
utfimts tegrfet^ gi?ehim lip thetdtittty 
4f Ote¥« Vrith Sileifai Havhxg, ^ithmit 
eeretiiohy, buoke off his alfiaiKie with 

France on thefe conditidhs, in the ttibilth 
of June, 1742, he writ me word he 
had put himfelf under a proper reginien» 

and fhould advife the other invalids to 
do the like. 

This Prince was then at the height of 
his power, having one Uvwvdt^d ^X!A 



68 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE* 

thirty thoufand men under his commaa^ 

ufcd to vidory, and the . cavalry q€ 
which he himfelf had formed* He 
drew twice as much from Silefia as it 
produced to the Houfe of Auilria^ faw 
himfelf firmly feated in. his new con^ 
queft, and was. happy, while all the otker 
contending powers were fuffering the 
miferies of depredation. Princes in 
thefe times ruin themfelves by war* — \^ 
enriched himfelf. 

He now turned his attention to the 
embellifliment of the city of Berlin, 
where he built one of the fineft opera- 
houfes in Europe, and whither he in- 
vited artiiis of alt denominations. He 

wilhed 






M£M0IR9 O F VOLTAIRfi. 6^ 

"v^iflied to acquire glory of every kind, 
^nd to acquire it in the cheapeft manner 
Ipoffible. 

His father had refided at PotzdaEin in 
^ vile old houfe ; he turned it into a 
|Alace. Potidam became a pleafailt 
town i BttWn grew daily more exteniive) 
and the Pnalfians began to tafle the conl^ 
foirts of life, Which the latfe Kittg httd 
entirely negleded. Several people had 
furniture in their houfcs, and fome eren 
wore ihirts, for in the former reign fuch 
things were little known j they wore 
ileeves and fore-bodies only, tied on with 
pack-thread, and the reigning Monarch 
had been fo educated. 



"t\« 



70 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE, 

The fcene changed as it were by ma- 
gic 5 Lacedsemon became Athens 5 de- 
ferts were peopled; and one hundred 
and three villages were formed from 
marfhes cleared and drained. Nor did 
he negledl to make verfes, and write mu- 

fie : I therefore was not fo exceedingly 
wrong in calling him» The Solomon of 
the North. I gave him this nick name 
in my Letters, and he continued long 
to bear it. 



mu. 



t' 



( 71 ) 



MEMOIR 



O P 



VOLTAIRE. 



WHITTEN BY HIMSELF. 



PART, THE SECOND. 



G 



A R D I N A L de Fleury died the 

twenty-ninth of February, 1743, at 
the age of ninety. Never did man 
come to be Prime-Minifter later in life, 
and never did Prime-Minifter keep his 
place fo long. He began his career of 
good fortune at the age of feventy-three, 






72 MEMOIRS OP VOLTAfRE. 

by being King of France j and fo }n 
continued indifputably to the day of bi^ 
death, always afFeding the greateft mo*^ 
defty, never amaffing riches, and with- 
out pomp^ forming hirpfelf Qnly to reign. 
He left the reputation of an artful and 
amiable perfon, rather than that of a man 
of genius, and was faid to have known 

' \^ the intrigues of a court, better than the 
affairs of Europe, 

I have often feen him at the houfc of 
Madame de Villeroi, when he was only 
the ancient Bifhop of the little paltry 
town of Frejus, of which he was always 
called Bifhop fy divine indignation^ as 
may be feen in fome of his letters. 

Madame 



MEMOl&S OP VOLTAIRE. 73. 



» 



Mftdii^f 4() Vjlleror was aa exceedingly 
ugly wopMn, mhom ^e repudiated as foon 
as evbr it was convenient. Tiie mar«» 
ihal de Villeroj^ herimHDand* who Jknew 
not the Biflwp l|ad, J/iiqg Ajeen the lover 
of iiis \2A^^ ^vtyv^t^ on Louis XIV, 

fJiqw -P/fe9jipj^ri j^ . N^^^e Primct^lV^i- 

batittgi to; Ih^ ,^I< rirf" hi*, tjcnefi^^oi** 
Ingratitude excepted, he was ^^to|«?abIjr 
good man; but, as he had no --talents 
Kitnfclf, he todk taffc to drive away all 
thofc who had, be tiey of what kmd 
they would.' '' 






Several of the Academicians were dc- 

i . . ." ■ ' ' '■ 

firous I fhould fupply his place in the 



74 MEMOIRS or VOLTAIM* 

French Academy. It wias afked at the 
King's fupper, who fhould pronounce 
the Cardinal's funeral oration at the A- 

cademy? His Majcfty replied, it fliould 
be- me •, the Dutchefs of Chateauroux, 
his Miftrefs, would have it ib } but the 
Count de Maurepas; Se<:retai)r of State, 
woukl not. He was'li^t^ with' a idolifh 
rage of quarrelhng W$th dl tlie Mifiref* 

fes of his M j^er, and ITound the dffi^ds of 
hisdifeafe^ ■■ '^ -' .''-frf-o-- -':.v?h;v. ': 






An old idiot, who Was Preceptor to tha 
Dauphin, formerly a^ Theatinc. Moxil^, 
and afterwards Biihop of Mir^poi^, 
named Bbyer, undertook, for confci- 
ence-fake, to f^cond the caprice of M. 

de 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 75 

^k' Maurcpas. This Boycr having the 
diipofal of the church livings, the King 
left all the affairs of the Clergy to his 
management. This, in his opinion, came 
tinder the head of ecclefiaftical matters ; 
and he remonfbated that it would be an 

offence againfl God,ihould a profane per* 
foa, like me, fucceed a Cardinal 

1 knew that M. de Maurepas infti- 
gated him to nGt thus $ I therefore went 
to thisMinifier,and told him, that though 
the honour of being an Academician 
was not a very important dignity, yet, 
after having been appointed, it was a 
difagreeable thing to be excluded. You 
are upon ill terms with the Dutchefs de 



^6 MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRB. 

Chateauroux, with whom his Majefty is 
in love, and likcwife with the Dnkc de 
Richelieu, by whom ihc is governed. 
But pray, my Lord 9 what connexion is 
there between thefe difputes of yours, 

and a poor feat in the French Academy ? 
I conjure you to tell me fincerely, in 
cafe Madame de Chateauroux can van- 
quiih the Bifhop de Mirepoix in this 

• - ■ 

conteft, will you remain neutcs Fr-rHc 
feemed to collect himfelf for a iQOment. 
and then replied, "No; I ihall cruib 
"you." 

The Priefl at length conquered ttie 
Miftrefs, and I loft my feat in the Aca- 
demy, which did not give me much vcx- 



MKMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 77 

ttion ; but I love to recoiled this ad- 
venture; it depid^s fo truly the little arts 
of thofe whom we call the Great ^^ and 
(hews bow really trifles are often confi- 
dered by them as very important mat- 
ters. 

Public afiairs, however, went on no 
better fince the death of the Cardinal, 
than they had done during the two laft 
years of his life. The Houfe of Au- 
firia rofe from its afhes into new life ; 
France was prefTed hard by England ; 
and we had no refource left but in the 
King of PrufTia, who had led us into this 
war, and who abandoned us in our ne- 
ceffity. They conceived the defign of 



M 



j% MEMOIRS OF VOLT AIRE. 

fending fecrctly to found the mtentions 
of this Monarch, and try if he was not 
in a humour to prevent the ftorm, which, 
foon or late, muft gather at Vienna, and 

* ». 

fall upon him, after having vifited us j 

to fee therefore if he would not lend us a 

hundred thoufand men on this oqcafioji) 

♦ ■ ' - • 

and thus fix, himfelf more firmly in the 
Silpfian conqueft. 



The Dtike de Richelieu, and the 

. ■ • (■ . ■ ' » ■■ ■ 

Dutcheis de Chateauroux firft imagined 
this fcheme, l|^e King adopted it, and 
M, Amelot, Minifter for foreign Af- 
fairs, but in a very fubaltem fituation, 

* • 

"was fingly charged to hailen my depar- 

» 

ture. A pretext was wanted^ and I 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRB. 79 

■»»•■ 'r- ••• 

Icized that of my difpute with the old 
IBifhop of Mirepoix, which met with his 
Majell/s approbation. I writ to the 

Kiiig of i^rtifiid, thai I could ho ibngei" 
endure the perfccufions of thts Thcatine 
Monk 'y and that I muft take refuge with 

,aKiog»wh9,ww a.philofopher, tp efcape 
jthe fn^re of a Biihop, who w^ a bigot. 
This Prelate alw^s figned himfelf ranc^ 
ixi^ead of /<a«f/«rir, [the- ancient ] Biihop 

«f Mq:e|)oix} and \m writing being vei/ 
bad, vre ufed continually to read and 
call him the afs of Mirepois;, It was a 
ftbjeO ef pleafkatry, tid iitfvwf was 
tegotiiatioa more gii]F* X^*^^> 

I. . ^f 

!$^' The 




80 MBMOmS OVTOLTAIKB. 

s 

The King of Pruflia who ftruck not 
with a palfied hand, when the blow was 
intended for the cheek of a Monk, or a 
Prelate become courtier, replied with a 
deluge of farcafms upon the afs of Mire« 
poiz, and prefled me to come. 

I took great care, that both my letters 
and thefe anfwers ihould be read. It 
foon came to the Bifiiop's ears, and he 
went to complain to his Majefly, that 

he was laughed at for a fool in 4 foreign 
court 

The King^s anfwer was> it was a mat* 

ter agreed on, and he muft let it pft6 
without notice^ 

This 



MEKforRS OF VOLTAIRB. 8l 

ThM attfwer has- very Iktle of the cha- 
xader of Louis XV. in it j and, as com- 
ing from him, always . appeared to me 
extraordinary. Thus I had at once the 
pleafbre of revenging myfelf upon a 
Biihop, who had exeluded me from the 
academy, of taking a very agreeable 

• • . , 

journey, and* bf having an opportunfty 

: » • • • • . 

to exert myfdf io the fervice of the King 
and State. Even the Count de Maurepas 
eriterecf into this project! with warmth, 
becaufe at that time he governed M» 
Amclot, and confidcred himfelf in fad 

as the Minifter for foreign affairs. 

The moft Angular part of this bufinefs 

was, that we were obliged to tet madame 

* ' du 



82 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

du Chitelet into the fecret. There waa^ 
not in her opinion any thing in the 
world fo unmanly, fo abominable^ as for 
a man to leave a woitaan to go and live 
with a king ^ and fhe would have made 
a moft dreadful tumqlt, had they not 
agreed, that, to appeafe her, ihe fhould 
^ be informed of the reafon, and that the 

• • • 

letters ihould all pafs through her hands. 

Whatever money I wanted for my 
journey, was^ given upon my mere receipt 
by M. de Marmontel, which power I 
took care not to abufe. I ftayed fome 
time in Holland, while the King of Pruf- 
iia was galloping from oipie end of his ter« 

ritories to the other, to be prefent at 

reviews^ 



I 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 83 

reviews, and my ftay at the Hague wag 
not ufelefs. I had apartments in the 
palace de la f^ieile Cour^ which belonged 
at that time to the King of Pruflia, in 
participation with the Houfe of Orange. 
His Envoy, the young Count de Pad- 
vitz, loved, and was beloved by the lady 
of one of the principal perfons among 
their High Mightineffes, and he obtain- 
ed from her copies of all their fecret 
relolutions, which at that time were very 
prejudicial to the intercfts of France. 
Thefe copies I fent to our court, and my 
fervicc was found very acceptable. 

■• . ' * , : • t 

• •■ t r 

• ' > . / . . ; . • 

• Nvieh I came to Berlin, his Majefty 
would lodge me in the pajace as he had 



f 



84 MEM0XR8 OF VOLTAIRE. 

done on cny former vifiti. He led at 
Pbtzdam the life be bad always led ^nce 
his advariocment to the throne : the man- 
ner of it defcrves a dcfcription. 

*• ■ ' ' ...'.'.. 

■ ( • ' ' ■ ■ I ■ ■ 

He rofe at five in fummer, and fix in 
winter. If you wifh to know the foyal 
ceremonies, what they were on great, 

and what on coiaroon occafions, . the 
fuadfons of his high Almoner, his great 
Cbajnberlainj the firft Gentlemaa of his 
?ed-chamber, and his Gentlemen Ufhers, 
I anfwer, a J(ingle lacqneyj came to light 
his fire, drefs and Ihave him, though he 
partly dreffed himfelf alone. His chara* 

ber was rather beautiful ; a ric^ baluf- 
trade of filver, cMrnamented mtb Uttle 

loves. 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 85 

loves, of excecdiiigfy • good fculpture, 
Ibcmed 5to fbrto tbe^ alcbve of the date- 
bedj the curtains of which were feen ; 
but behindr ihcfc curtains, inilead of a 
bed there was a lij^raryj .alid< as tp the 
real bed, it was a kind of folding couch 
of ftrawi with a flight mattrefs, and hid- 
den from the view, v Marcus Aurelivw 
and, Julian, tlie two grcatcft . men among 
the Romans, and apoftles of the Stoics, 
lay not on a harder bed. 

As foon as his Majefty was drefTed and 
booted, Stoicifm for a few moments gave 

plax:e to Epicurifm. Two or three of his 

favourites entered: thefe were either 

Lieutenants, Eniigns, Pages^ Heiduques, 



^\ 



.'vi 



86 M£M<HR8 OF VOLT^IR«. 

or youn^ Cadets: G^ee wa^ brought 4flt 
and lie tcwhoia the haottHtefchfef ^vraft 

thrown, retOMted tea ^urateB't^te^*- 
tete imtit his Mttjeift^. ■ '^I^ng^ W^ift %^ 
lAji-ried : eo th«; ;Hift «k»e^ty, teckfib. 
Whild Fi<j^, ik kis ^tliier^ fifc-tiffle, he 
had been Teiy ifl treated, ^nd ill cured, 
%i Ws ambtrts tli^ pti^^. He tdtAd ii«t 
play pfiiittipal, slhS -wa^ ^9li|^ to eoi>- 
'tent hiriiielif with tSber iebbnd, 

r r " r 

i . ' . }- - . • r« '• -J -Vf^ -• • » • 5 

Thefe fchool-boy.yiports being over, 

' the -fta^e ^flairrs *e5rt ' wete ^'citttfidieted, 

and hrs ifirft Mitiifttff fcaffle With*^ iargfe 

bundle of papets uft'der^KisiTtii: ^^1s 

firftMitiifttr^s^a Cfe^k^^wiici'^ciffgfefftip 

■ • , '; ;■ ■ ■-• ■ ; 

• Of onccjand awaj. 



AtETVTOIRS 6P VOLTAIRE. 87 

tT\ro-pair of ftairs in the houfc of Fudel^ 
doff, and was the foldier, now valet de 
chambre and favourite, who had former- 
ly ferved the ^ing .at Cuftijin. The 

- ■ * - f '' ' ' * 

jSecretaries of ftate fcnt all the difpatchea 

•• - • * 

to the King's Clerks 5 they made ex- 
tradls, which were b^-oughi to his Majefty 
l?y this perfpn,. and the King writ hi^. 
anfwcr in the margin in two words, Tb« 

* * 

whole affairs of the kingdom were ^hus 
expedited in an Ijoyr, and feldom did 
the Secretaries of ftate, or the Minifters 

in office^ come into his prefence j nay^ 
there were fomc^ to ^^v^hom even he had 
never ^oken. The King, his father, had 
put the finances under fuch exaS regu- 
lations, all was executed in fuch a military 



88 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

manner, and obedience was fo blind^ 
that four hundred leagues were governed 
with as much eafe as a manor. 

r 

About eleven o'clock, the king, booted, 
reviewed in his garden his regiment of 
guards^ and at the fame hour all the 
Colonels did the like throughout the 

* » 

provinces, in the interval of parade and! 
dinnet-time. The Princes his brothers, 

* # 

the General officers, and one or two of 
his Chamberlains, eat at his table, which 
was as well furnifhed as could be exped- 

cd in a country where they had neither 

'I • • ' .' >• 
game, tolerable butcher's meat, nor 

poultry, and where they got dl tlicir 
wheat from Magdebourg. 

. , ■.'.'....:..'.■• 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 89 

' when dinner was over he retired to 
Iiis cabinet, and writ verfes till five or fix 
©•clock, when a young man of the name 

-W, * I I ; ' "' 'j *" , ' ' ■ . 

of* Ijarget, formerly fecretary to M. dc 
Valorjr, tlie French Envoy, came and 
read to ninit At icven he had a little 



' » » » 



concert, at which he played the fhite, 






and* as well as the beft performers. His 
own compofitions were often among the 
pieces played, for there was no art he did 
not cultivate J and had he lived among 
the Greeks, he would not, like Epami-- 
nondas^ have had the mortification to 

1 

coafefs he did not underfland mufic. 



They ftippscj in a little h^ll, the mpft 
fin^jjl^r ornament of vjh\c\i>«?t^^Y^S^^^^ 

1 \ ^^ 



90 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

the defign of which he himfelf gave to 
Pcne, his painter, and one of our beft 
colourifls^ The fubjedl was totally Pria- 
pian. Turtles billings young men in the 
embraces of yoyng wpmen, nymphs 
beneath fatyrs, cupids at lafb^vious iports, 
people fainting with defire at beholding 
them, and rams and goats at iimilar paf- 
times. The fupper was frequently fea- 
fonedwith the fame kiiid of philofophy ;, 
and any perfon who had heard the dif^ 

'^ • ■ .• ■ ■ * ' . * 

courfe, and looked at this pidure, would 

■ ' ' ' ,* •■ 

have fuppofed they had caught the Seven 
Sages of Greece in a brothel. 

Never was there a place in the world 
where liberty of fpeech "was fo fully in- 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 



91 



dulgod^ pr where the various fuperfliti* 
ons of tficn were treated with fo great a 
degree of pleafantry and contempt. God 
ipvas refpej^pd, but thofe who in his name 
Tiad impofed upon credulity, were not 
ipared. Nedthcr: wdmea nor priefis ever 
entered the palace j and, in a word, Fre- 
deric lived without religion, without a 
c^uncil^ and without a court. 



Some of the provincial judges were 
ihbut to burn a poor devil' of a Peafaht, 
accufed of an intrigue of a Ihdckiiig na- 
ture. No perfofl, however, is executed 
in the Pruffian dominionis, till Frederic 
has confirmed the fentence •, a moft hu- 
mane law, pradtifcd likewife in England^ 



OS MEMOIRS OF TOLTAIRK^ 

and otier cotttitries; The King Wote' «l« 
the bottiim of the fentcnccj titei' ft^ejf 
liberty of opinion, and of ******^ 
was allbwed throughout his territorieii/ 



iHii:] 



A Mnaftetr near Stettkiy itftouglkjktMil 
iniifilgcoeexxci^edingly iban^9tt«^ -9Qd 
hiiaXL famQ«(X{mffions(iit aledmQil «))9fi 
Herod, whtf h §l^€od at ^ tho KiD^ir hp 
was therefore fummoned to appear be- 
fore tSM Confiftory;. ^t Ppt«d3Mp,.^tJjQtigh 
w ^> these vra& AQc^prc a Co^Q^5^^,^t 
Pour^th^itber^ ^^ 3j]y[a^;. ;rh(^ pppr 
snaa caipac|. .The King pvit oaa band 

' ' - ♦ ■ ■ « 

,^nd furpUqe. M- d' Argens, Author of the 
Jewifli Letters, and one 3aron de PoV 
pitz;, who had changed bis relig^ion three 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 93 

or four times, dreffed themfelves up in 
the fame manner. A folio volume of 
Bayle*s Dictionary was placed upon the 
table by way of a Bible, and the culprit 
was introduced by two grenadiers, and 
fet before thefe three Minifters of the 
Gofpel. . 



My brother, faid the King, I demand, 
in the name of the moft High God, who 
the Herod was concerning whom you 
preached ? He who flew the Children, 
replied the fimple Prieft. But was this 
Herod the firft I faid the Kingj for you 
©ught to khovv there havis been feveral 
Herods. The Prieft was file'nt j he could 
not anfwer this queftion. How! con- 



5i4 MEMOIKS aP yaLTAIRE. 

tinucd the King, have you dared ta 
preach about Herod^ and are ignorant 
both of him and his family ? You are 
unworthy of the holy miniftry. We 
iJiafl pardon you for this time, but know 

we fhall excommunicate you if ever you 
dare hereafter preach againft an^ jifiier 

whom you do not know. 



H^ « . „ - 



They Aeyft (lerlwei^eiifeis rentence sm^. 
pasdoa to him, %pe4 hy tbrecri:icJi«\»lQi3* 
names in^vented on pwcppfeif WeihaJl 
go to-morrow to Berlin, added therKingi^ 
and we will Remand forgi^enef* fc^ y<m 
0f our bcotherhoodr Po if^t, fail i9 
Come a:njd fiiad us out. Accordingly the 
Piieil ym^U ^^i cnq^ed for tlsmUthwa 



M£MOIftS OF VOLTAIRE. 9^ 

Jabourers in the gofpel vineyard all over 
jSerlia, where he was laughed at^ but 
the KiQg, who had more humour than 
iibcpadity, forgot to reimburfe him for 
^he expences of his journey. 

Frederic governed the church with as 

much defpotifm as the ftate. He pro- 

.nounced thedivorces himfelf when hu£l. 

band and wife wanted to pair themfelves 

}^ffcrently, A minifter^ one day cited 

Ji^ 014 "ITeftament on die fubjed of dii- 

voiroe^, ^amd the Kiug told hi^, Mofcs 

[managed £ke Jews jufi as he j)leafed j as 

for me^ I muft govern my Praflians to 

the beft of my abilities. 



g6 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

This fingularity of government, tHefc ^= 
manners ftill more Angular, this contraft — 
of Stoicifm and Epicurianifm, qf fcverity 
in military difcipline, and effepiinacy'm 
the interior of the Palace, of Pages with 
whom he amufed himfelf in his clofet^ 
and of Soldiers who run the gauntlet fix 

^nd thirty times, while the monarch be- 
held them through his window, under 
which the punifhment was inflided, of 
reafoning on' ethics^ and of unbridled 
licentioufnefs, formed altogether a he- 
terogeneous pidure, which till then few 
had known, and which has fince fpread 
through Europe. 



MliMOreS OF VOLTAIHE* 97 

*The greateft oeconomy of every kind 
was obferved at Potzdam 5 the King's 
^able; and that of his officers and do- 

^mieftics, were regulated at thirty-three 
crowiis (about four guineas) a day, ex- 
clave of wine. Inftead of the Officers 
of the crown taking charge of this ex- 
pence, as at other courts, it was his valet 
de chambre FridefdorfF, who was at once 

his High Steward, Great Cup-bearer 
and Firft Pander. 

' i ■ • ■ , . 

» 1 •■•... 

' Whether it was from policy or oeco- 
liomy, I know not •, but he never grant- 

ed the leaft kindnefs to any of his former 
favourites, efpecially to thofe who had 
riiked their lives for him when he was 



98 M9^0»«^ OF VOUTAIRB. 

Prince RoyaL He did not evea pay 
the money he borrowed at that time; 
Like as Louis XIT. would notrevenge^ 
the affronts of the Duke d'OrleanSi, 

neither would the King of Pruflia re* 
ipember the debts of the Prjf)C9 Royal 



[is poor miftrefs, who had fuffcred 
whipping for his fake by the hands of 
the common hangman, was married at 
Berlin to the Clerk of the Haekney- 
Coach-Office, for they had eighteen 
hackney coachea at Berlifi;. an4; ^^ 
royal lover allowed h^P % pennon, of^ 
feventy crowns (|?ight pp^nda f^ea. 
Ihillings) a year^ Hie c^lcd herjfplf. 

Mademoifell^ Sa^n^ers^ ax^j^ wsff^ ^:taP,^ 

meagre 



M£MOIilS or VOLTAIRE. ^ 

meagre figwre, very like one of the Sy- 
bils, without the leaft appearance of 
meriting to be publicly whipped for a 
Piiace* 



N 



When, however, he was at Berlin, hte 
made a'great difplay of magnificence on 
public <kys. It was a fuperb fpedacle 
for the vain^ that is to fay, for almoft 
all mankind, to fee him at table, fur* 

rounded with twenty Princes of the 
Empire, fbrved in veflels of gold, the 
richeft in Europe, by two and thirty 
Pages, and as many young Heiduques, 
all fplendidly cloathed, and bearing 
4ifhes of maffy gold. The State Officers 

were 



100 MEMOIRS OP'TOLTAIRlff. 

were ai{b>i e*ploycd'^*^rtFthefe occaiioiw, 
thcJtigh tfnkfibv^rn M i^^ <fthcr time. 



' r^ ,ri :5r// i^'o^' r/T' ':i^ 



.%» 






After dinner they went to tli^ ^efa 

,\ ... 

at the large Theatre, three hundViefd feet 

long ; which had been built without an 

- . ■ ~^ -. . 

ArchiteA by one of his Chamberlains, 

whofe name was Kndberftoff. The fibeft 



'-« 



voices and beft dancers were engaged in 
his fervice. Barberini at that time danced 
at his Theatre, the fame who hats fince 

been married to the fon of his Chan- 

cellor. The' King had her carried off 

by his foldiers from Venice, and brought' 

even throtfgh Vienna as far as Berlin. 

• •-■••.-■). ■ . 

He was a little ih love with her, becaufe 

fhe 



MEMOIRS OF YOLTAIRE. 10 1 

Jfiie had legs Ufcc a man ; but the thing 
smoik of all iacomprehenfible^ was» that 
2ie ga^e her a .iaiary of thirty-two thou- 
ikad livres (above thirteen hundred 
poufids.) His Italian Poet, who was 
«pi)iig€d to put the operas into verfc, of» 
^hich the King hirafelf gave the plan 
Jhad little more than a thirtieth part of 
this fusa^ J>ut it ought to be remembered, 
he was very ugly, and could not dance. 
In a ^word, Barberini touched for her 

ihare more than any three of his Mi- 
tiffters of State together. 

As fipr the Italian Poet, he one day 
took eare to pay himfelf with his own 

bands, for;he JftrijH off th^ gdid fro<»/the 

K ^ ot^^.- 



I02 MEMOIRS OF VO^LTAIRl. 



ornaments in ah old chapel of the firft 
King of Pruffia's-, on which occafion 
Frederic remarked, that as he never went 
to the chapel he had loft nothing. Be- 
fides, he had lately written a diftertation 

in favour of thieves, which is printeld in 
the cblledtiohs of his academy; and he 
did iiot think proper this time to con- 
tradid his writings by his anions. '^' 

; This indulgence was not extended, to 

. any military being. There was an old 

gentleman of Franch^-Gomtc, cqn^ncd 

in the prifon of Spandau, ^ho was fix 

feet high, and whom the late King for 

' that reafon had inveigled into Pniffia. 

They promifed him the place of Cham- 

' betlaint 



•^ t 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. J I03 

♦ 

berlain, and gave him that of foot fbldicr. 
This poor man foon after defertcd with 
one of his comrades^ . but was taken and 
brooght before the late King. He had 
the fimplicity to tell him, he repented of 
nothing but that he had not ftabbed fuch 
a tyrant; and foAhis anfwcf 'he had his 
nofe and ears cut off/ ran thp gauntlet 
fix and thirty times, and was^ afterwards 
ferit to wheel the barl-o w at Spahdau. 
He continued this etaployment to the 
very time that M. de Valory, our Envoy, 
prcffed me to beg remiffion for him of 
the moft clement fon of -the jnoft iron- 
hearted Frederic- William. 



His 



I04 MAMeiRS OF VOS^TAIRB. 

Hi« Majefiy had been j^eaied toia^, 
it was to oblige lae Uiat lie l»A jgat \fp 
xn (^ca &]1 of poetical bea^tios^ ^ul 
written bf tlK oellebtafeEi^MM^teilafiti, 
cadled, LaCSetnenza diT^o, TbV Kiog, 
with the affi^aoce of bis ^ompoiier, had 
fet it to maiic hiuiielf. I took ithis op- 
portunity to recommend the poor did 

Freachman withiNjit noie ande?%tohJs 
bounty:, which f4fd. 4a thpfpUo?^^ 



'Wbftt'l 'can^it be wbenraigbt^iFT^deric reigns • 
Tlitr wretdics gronn I 0b I GeAiui uoiirerfaly 

Soul firm, yet feeling, deign to ^nd tbe culprit^s 
Torments ; ceafe not jOur generous cares for mifery : 

n 



MEMOIRS' OF VOLTAIRE; IO5 

Xo ! at your feet, where Pity, daughter^ of 

Hepentance, miftref» of great minds, Itfttels trembling, 

Aftoniihed to find her tears fhed in vain. 

On the hand that has driven SonpQvufcfiroai the Earth. 

Wherefore difplay witV&ch fiflagttificence 

The triumphs of great Tiiiis? Imitate 

Him every way, or vkiifit of hlifii no inbrt. 



, Tic requcft. was foinUhing. daring, 
but one may fay what one will poeti- 
cally. His Majcfty ptomifed remiffion, 
and ibme months after cVen had 'the 
bounty to lend the poor gentleman in 
queftion to the Hbfpital, at three pence 
a day, which favour he had refufed to 
the Qjieen his mother j but fhe, in all 



i • « 



probability, 



I06 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAl&B. 



probability, had afked only in profe. 



In the midft of all thcfe feafts, operas^ 
and fuppers, my fecret negociation went 
forward j the King was willing I fhould 
fpeak on every thing, and I frequently 
took occafion to intermix qneftions con- 
cerning France and Auftria with the 
Eneid and Roman Hiftory. The conver- 
fatiofl was fometimes anhnated ; the King 
became warm, and would tell me, that 
while our Court was knocking at every 
door to procure peace, he fliould not 
think it advifeable to go to war in our 
defence. I fent my reflexions upon 
psper, left half blank, from my apart* 

ment 



MI^MOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. I07 

ment to his : and he anfwered my daring 
remarks in the margin. I have this 
paper ilill, in which I have faid, 

Can it be doubted that the Houfe of 
^ufiria will feize the very firft oppor- 
tunity, to redemand Silefia ? To which 
lie anfwered in the margin, 



lis feront re(^s, bxribi, 
A la fapon de Barbari, 
Moa.ami. 



. AftertbemodeLof Barbaiy. 

This new kind of negociation finifli- 
cd by a difcpurfe, which in one of his 

moments 



I08 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

moments of vivacity, he made me agairifl:: 
the King of England, his dear Uncle- 
Thefe two Kings did not love one ano— 
ther. My Pruflian Monarch told me, 

*• George was the Uncle of Frederic, 
but not of the King of Pruflia ;'* and he 

ended by faying, "Let France declare 

war agailift England, and Iwill march." 



This was all I wanted. I returned 
inftantly to France, and gave an account 
of my journey j with fuch hopes to the, 

French Miniftry as had been given me 
at Berlin. Neither were they falfe, for 
the fpring following the King of Pruflia 
concluded a new treaty with France, and 
advanced into Bohemia with a hundred 

iVvoufand 



thoufend mea while the Auftrians weue 
in Alfatia. 

Had I rdUt«4 my £idvea|\i(rQ^ fo; ^ny 
goqd P^ifiwi, with th* ^nrip^ J fead 
dpn«e th^ fltatc* he wo\jld wt have wpa^ 

the leaii dQubt Qf q^yhavigg, heefJ pM- 
iQiCed » good ^c«^ l wfll tell yoii 
^b»t^vE»f Bjy i«cQfflkp9iice, ThrDBiteihdis 
de Qiaiite^^eiwx Wift? vexed tJie aegQcia>- 
tlQQ h^i:) not b#9li ^oii||ht about GOtmif 
by h^r infaAS » ^ had lil^sviie ati uk- 
clinAtiop. to h^ve M. ^N^elpt tttroed out 
hecauie he fluttered, which tdfling dci- 
fe^ (he found <^enfive, ^94 ihe farther 
hated him becaufe he wa.§ gOYefnedhy 
M, de M»wepas $ he yia^ aocordiogly 

L die 



no MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

difmiffed eight days after, aad I was 
included in his difgracc. 

It happened fome time after this, that 
Louis XV. fell extremely ill at the city 
of Metz. This was the time for M. de 
Maurepas and his cabal to ruin the 
Dutchefs de Chateauroux. The Bifhop 

of Soiffons, Fitz- James, fon of thebaftard 
of James IL who was thought a faint, 
would, in quality of Grand Almoner, 
convert the King 5 and declared he would 
neither grant him abfolution, npr fufFer 
him to communicate, if he did not drive 
away his Miftrefs, with her fifter the 
Dutchefs of Lauragais, and their friends • 
and the two fifters in confequence de- 
parted. 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. Ill 

parted with the execrations of the peo- 
ple of Metz. 

This action of Louis XV. was the oc-^ 
cafion that the Parifians, equally ftupid 
with the good folks of Metz, gave 
him the furname of BiEN-AiME, ^^/A 

beloved. A fellow named Vade firft in- 
vented this title, which all the Almanacs 
echoed. As foon as the Prince recover- 
ed, he defired only to be the well- 
beloved of his Miftrefs, for whom he 
found his afFedlion increafe \ and fhe was 
again going to undertake her Miniflry, 
when (he died fuddenly, in confequence 
oftht pafliona into which fhe had' been 

thrown 



thrown by her ^ifariffi^rK She wa> fu* 
fcntly forgot. 

A MifttcTs wi^ tiow v^tfnfted, atid the 
4hoii>« fell ui«)H the Detooifelle PoMflTon^ 

Sh* t^/ai the d*nght4i: of a teept vvoftian 

fbns-Jotiar^ anfi j«Fiw hwl amiifred fofi» 
moiBsy hy felik]igi?vilE^ th&eora^i)Sianj, 
This poor tmte ^t that time haili abfoonCi^ 
ed, having heeh condemned ior mahbriiu 
tiod, and they had xMUtici hh^SiMghVa 
to theunfie^ Firm€*gefi©*«3leN6taiw«l, 
Lord of Etiole, and Nephew of the Far- 
mer-general ie Norftiaftfl, 6f Tournehaiia, 

"v^ho kept her mother. Tfeie daughter 
had be«n well educated, was prudent, a- 



MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE. t.l ^ 

xniable, very graceful, had great talent^i 
a fine underftanding, and a good heart. 

I was tolerably intimate with her, and 
was even the confidant of her amours. 
She confeffed to me, fhe had always had: 
a fecret fore-jt:hought that the King would 
fall in love with her^^and that fhe had 
always ardently wifhed he mjght, with- 
out making her wifhes too apparent. 

Xhi? jdeja, which feems fo chimcjicalfor 

a perfon, in her ftatipn, originated from 
hqr ha^ving been often taken to the . royal 

hunt in the foreft of Senar. Tourne- 

, .1 

ham her mother's lover, had a country- 
houfe near there, and ufed to take her 
out^ta air in a neat Calafli. His Ma-^ 

L3 %.% 



114 Mfi^9rii# or v^mLTjystc. 

je% had obferved her, and had oftei^ 
fent her venifoai. Her niother aeter 
ceafed telling her fhe was handfomer 
t|;ian Madaivue de Chateauroux, and the 
good mair Tournehani eonfirnnedit In 
laptures. It mufi be owned, the daughter 
of Madame PoHJdb, was a morfel for 
Majefty. After {be wa« certam ef her 
Royal Lever, 1^ ^Id me fhe was firmly 
perfuaded of the d©<^ine of {^edeftina* 
tk)n, and (he had ibme cauiib £> to be* 

f paffed fev^ral months wkh her at 
Etiole, while tlic King made the cam- 
paign of 1746. 

^ I hen^c obtained rewwdt; whicK had 

mtpx been granted to my work* or my 

-ifer vices. 



ferviccs. l^vnas deemed worthy to be 
ene <sf the forty u/ekfs Members of the 
Academy, was appointed Hiftoriographcr 
of France, and created by the King one 
of the -Gentlemen in ordinary of his 
Chamber. From this 1 concluded it was 

better, in order to make the moft trifling 
fortune, to fpeak four words to a King's 
iniflrefs, than to write a hundred vo- 
lumes. 

As fcton as 1 had the appearance of a 
fortunate man, the whole brotherhood 
of the Beaux-Eiprrts of Paris was let 
loofe upon me, With all the inveterate 
animofity which might be expedted from 

■ • 

them 



1X6 MBMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

them againft a perfon who gained every 

recompenfe he was entitled to by his, 
merit. 



My connexion with Madame du Gh^- 
telet was never interrupted ; our friend- 
fhip and our love of literature, were 
unalterable ; we lived together both in 

town and out of town. Cirey is Ijtuated 

upon the borders of Lorraine, and King 

» - • - 

Staniflaus at that time kept his little 
agreeable court at Luneville. Old and 

fanatic ashewas, he yet had a friendfliip 

. • • • 

with a lady who was neither. His foul 
was divided between MadameJa Mar- 
quife de BoufHers, and a Jefuit, whofe 
name was Menou 5 a Prieft, the moft 

daring 



MEMOIRS OP V<>LTAIRB. 1 TJ 

dawig a»0 feH of lAtrigue I have ever 
luaO«m. 

This man had drawn from ICing Sta- 
niflaufi, by means of bis Qiieen^ wkbiin 
he hud £0-verned, abeut a mil Hon of 
livx^s, near forty-two thoufand pounds, 
part of which were employed in build- 
ing 'a magnificent honfe fot himfelf and 
fome Jefuits of Nancy. This houfe 
was endowed with twenty-four thoufand 
livres, or a thoufand pounds a year, 
kalf 0^ >l»4ic^#erpplv0d Ifw table, a^d the 

other tialf was to give away to whom he 
pleafed. The King's miflrefs * was not 

by 



v. 



Fm^. The Marchionefs dc Boufil^xs 'w^^ v vsaa^k 



Il8 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

by any means fo well treated ; flie fcarce- 
ly could get enough from his Polifh Ma- 
jefty to buy her petticoats, and yet the 
Jefuit envied what* fhc had, arid was 
violently jealous of her power. They 
were at open war% and the poor King 

had 

difintereftcd friendi and feldom ufed her iitereft but 
in the fervice of her friendi i and the expreffion, 
imugh t9 buy htr fitticoats^ is net at all appli- 
cable. 

* Madame de Boufflers never was at variance wiik 
Father Mcnou, who, alMntriguing as he wasi never 
thought of giving Staniflaus Madame du Chfttelet 
for a miftrcfs. That lady, and M. dc Voltaire, never 
were at Lunevillci except when invited bj M« dc 
B***9 whom thejr often vifiited, and found ytrf ami- 

ablei 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. II9 

lad enough to do every day when he 
came from mafs, to reconcile his miftrefs 
and his confeffor. Our Jefuit at laft 
liaving heard of Madame du Chatelet, 
^who was exceedingly well fhaped, and 
ilill tolerably handfome, conceived the 

projed of fubftituting her to Madame 
de BoufBers. 

Staniflaus amufcd himfelf fometimes 
in writing little works, which were bad 

able ; they never went as to the King of Poland. 

If Menou really propofed the journey to Voltaire 
and Madame du Chatelet, it was when he was in- 
formed they were coming, and to make a merit of it 
vfith the King. 

The two laft notes are by M. de St. Lambert, author 
of a Poem. on the Seafons. 



I2Q MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIS.X. 

enough, 9nd Menou imagined an a^iib- 
tborefs would fucceed with; imi as 

iftiftFefs better than any other, Wit^h_ 
this fine trick ia his head be ca^me- tc^ 
Cicey, cajoled Madame di> Ghatdet, 
and toM u€ hpw delighted^ Kii&g Stani^ 
flams would be w our com^ny. S^ 
then returned to the King, and i^aforiried 
him how ardeatly we defiricd to come 
and pay our court to his Majefty. Sta- 
niilaus aiked Madame de Boufleurs to 
bring us 5 and we went to pafs thq whole 
year, 1749, at l^vin^Yille, But the pror 
je6fe of the haly Jefuit did not fucceed ; 
the very reverfe took place •, we were 
devoted to Madame de Boufflers, and he 

bad 



•iii^iAdmfe'oi^v^'tiTAiRE. rai 

^(f two t^omati to cdilibat ini^ead of 



. T&e li£irldiat:the court of Lorraine 
vaa tolesably a^oaHle ; though ^ere, 
a» in dthfTi tjpujti tiicm" wei-e plenty of 
iatdguei land artifice. V 

Towarda the end of the ye^r, Ponce t, 
Bi(hop of Troy^s, who was overwhelmed 
with debts^ andwhofe reputation was loft, 
wiibed to come and augment our in- 
trigues and artifice. 

When I fay he had loft his reputa- 
tipii, I mean alfo the reputation of his 
fermons «nd funeral orations. ^ He obi. 



IZi MEMOIRS OFVOLrTAIRB. 

taincd, through the intereft of our two 
ladies, the place of Grand-Almoner to 
the King, who was flattered by having a 
Bifhop in his pay, and at very fmall 
wages too. This Prelate did imt come 
till 1750; he began his career by in- 
triguing againft Madame de Boufflers, 
his benefadrefs, and was difmifled. 
His anger alighted on Louis XV. 
the fon-inJaw of Staniflaus 5 bfeing 

returned to Troyes, he would needs play 
a part in the ridiculous farce of the con- 
feffional billets, invented by Beaumont, 

Archbiihop of Paris : he made head 
againft the parliament, and braved the 
King. This was not the way to pay 'Hiis 
debts, but to get himfelf irripfflbiidd; 

Louis 



MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE. I23 

Louis fent him into Alfatia, and had him 
fhut up in a convent of fat German 
Friars. 

But I muft return to what concerns 
myfelf. Madame du Chatelet died in 
the palace of Staniflaus, after two days 
illnefs ; and we were fb affeded, that 
not one of us ever remembered to fend 
for Prieft, Jefuit, or one of the Seven 
Sacraments. It was we>. and not Ma- 
dame du Chatelet, who felt the horrors 
of death. The good King Staniflaus 
came to my chamber, and mixed his 
tears with mine : few of his brethren 
would have done fo much on a like oc- 

cafion. He wifhcd me to ftay at Lune- 

ville, 



124- MEMOIRS 9 F VOt-TAAREi 

ville, but I could no longer fuppoft the 
places and returned to Paris, / > 



It was my deftiny to run from King to 

King, although I loved liberty even to 

idolatry. The King of Pruffia, whom I 

• ■ . . »• 

had frequently given to underftand I 

would never quit Madame du Chitelet 

for him, would abfolutely entrap me, 

now he was rid of his jival. He en- 

joyed at that time a peace, which he 

had purchafed with vi^oryj and bis 

leifure hours were always devoted to 

making verfes, or writing the hiftory of 

his country and campaigns, f^e was 

well convinced, that in reality his vjprfe 

. . - . ■. ■ ' > 

and profe too, were fuperior to my verfe 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 12$ 

and profe, as to their elTcnce ; though 
as to the form, he thought there was a 

a 

certain fomcthing, a turn, that I in 
quality of Academician, might give to 
his writings ; and there was no kind of 
flattery, no fedudJion, he did not employ 
to engage me to come. 



• i 



Who might refift a Monarch, a Hero, 
a Poet, a Mufician, a Philofopher, who 

pretended too to love me, and whom I 
thought I alfo loved, I fat out once 
more for Potzdam, in the month of June, 

1750. Aftolphus did not meet a kinder 
reception in the palace of Alcina. To 
be lodged in the fame apartments that 
Marfhal Saxe had occupied j to have the 

M 3 \o^?Js. 



126 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIH)B« 

royal cooks at my command, wfeeft I 

chofe to dine alone 4 and the myal 
coachman, when I had ^1^ ij:icli'fiatiDn Ux 
ride, were trifling favours. - 

Our fuppcEs were very agreeable. I 
know not if I am deceived, but I thinly 
we had a deal of wit. The King was 
witty, and gave occafion to wit in others; 
and what is ftill more extraordinary^ J 
never found myfelf fo much ,at my eafc, 

i 

I worked two hours a day with |iis Ma- 

jefty, correded his works, and never 

failed highly to praife whatever was 

worthy of praife, although I rejedled 
the drofs. I gave him details of all that 

was neceifary in rhetoric and criticifm, 

for 



fyt hts .i^Cf b^ profited by my fd vicc^ 

and his genius aflifted him more eifec* 
tually than my leffons. 



I » 



I had j:io. court tp make, no vifitsto 
pay, no duty to fulfil ; I led the life of 

r r 

liberty, and had no conception of any 
thing more happy than my then fituation. 
'My Frederic- Alcina, who faw my brain 
was already a little difcorded, re- 
doubled the potions that I might be to- 
tally inebriated. The laft fedud'ion wqs 
a letter . he w*rit, and fpnt froiQ his apartr 
ments to mine. A Miftrefs could Jipf 
have Y^rittCfi more tencjqrlyi he labpurr 
ed rin his epiftle to diffipatc the fear 
which his rank anci charadler had infpir^ 

ed: 



128 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRB. 

ed: It contained thcfe remarkable 
words : 



" How is it poflible I fhould bring 
** unhappinefs on the man I efteem, who 

*' has facrificcd his country, and all that 
** humanity holds dear to me. I reiped 
" you as my Mafler, and love you as 
" my friend. What flavery, what mif- 
" fortune, what change can be feared, 
*' in a place where you are efteemed as 
** much as in y9ur own country, and 

•* with a friend who has a grateful heart. 

. , ' r. . . . . 

" I rcfpeded the friendfhip that endear- 
** ed you to Madame du Ckatelet, but 
** after her I am one of your oldeft 
'^^ friends. I give you my promife you 

" Ihall 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 1 29 

*.^ ihftU be happy licfc as long as I 
'' live/' 

- ■ • ,- . . ^ > 

Here is a letter, fuch ^s few of their 
Mofefiies write ; it was the finifhing^lafs 

tP cQUipleat piy drunkenncfs. fjij? Y^ordy 

proteftatipns. were ftiU ftrpnger thaji hi? 

•..».. .1 

written onca. He was accuftoined to 

■ ■ • '■ - . ' . 

very fingujar demonftrations of tender- 
nefs to younger favourites than I, and 

* forgetting for a moment I was not of 

their age, and had not a fine hand, he 
feized it and imprinted a kifs ^ I took 
his, ietarned hb iklute^ aiid Itgned my- 
Teiif feiis flaVe. ' 



It 



'f 

•.4 



130 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

It was neceffary I fhould get permit- 

fion from the King of France to belong 
to two Matters: The King ofPruffia 
took charge of every thing, and writ to 
afk me of Louis. I never imagined 
they were fliocked at Vcrfaillcs, that a 
Gentleman in Ordinary of the Chamber? 
one of the moft ufelefs Beings of a 
Court, fhould become a ufelefs Cham- 
berlain at Berlin. They granted me 
full permiffion, but were highly piqued, 
and did not pardon me. I greatly dif- 

pleafcd the ?^ing^ of France without 
pleafing the King of Pruflia, who laugh- 
ed at me in the bottom of his heart. 



Behold 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 131 

Behold me then with a filver key gilt 
with gold hanging at my button-hole, a 
crofs round my neck, and twenty thou- 
fand livres, or eight hundred guineas 
a year. Maupertuis fell fick, and yet I • 
did not perceive the occafion. 



\ 



^ 



i 4 



At that time there was a Phyfician at 
Berlin, one La Metric, who was the 
moft frank and declared Atheift of all 

the phyfical people of Europe. He was 
a gay, pleafant, thoughtlefs fellow, who 
knew the theory of phyfic as well as the 
beft of his brethren, but withoutcontra- 
didion the worft praditioner upon earth, 
for which reafon he had left the profef- 
fion. He ridiculed the wliole faculty 

of 



y 



of Paris, and had even writtea laa^ny 
perfanalities againft individualel^ whiDb 
they could not pardoh, ; and tbcy obtiiin- 
ed a decree againft him, by5 whielj d re- 
ward was offered Box his apprefieniioxi. 

La Meitre, had in confequence, fled 
to Berlin, where he amufed himfelf fuf- 
fioi/ently by his gaiety^ and likewife by 
writing and printing ail tliat can be imar- 

gixied moil impudent upon manners; his 
books, pleafed theKing, who made him 

not his Phyfician, but his Reader. 

One day after the ledure, La Meitre, 
who fpoke whatever came uppermoft, 
told his Majefty there were perfons 

exceed- 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. I33 

exceedingly jealous of my favour and 
fortune. — Be quiet awhiky faid Frederic, 
wefqueeze the orange ^ and throw it away 
when we have Jwallcruifed the juice. '^•^^ 
Mctrie did not forget to repeat to me this 
fine apophthegm, worthy Dionyfius of 
Syracufc. From that time I determined 
to take all poffible care of the orange- 
peel. I had about twelve thoufand 
guineas to place out at intereft, but was 
determined it fhould not be in the terri« 
tories of my Alcina. I found an adyan-. 
tageous opportunity of lending them upon 
the efiates which the Duke of Wurtem^ 
berg poiTefled in France. 



N Thi 



I ^4 MBMOIR S F VOLTAIRE. 

The King, who opemed i^l liiy letters, 
did oot doubt of my intention to quit his 
court. The furor of rhimittg, keojewver, 
diU poiTciQin^ hostt as it did Drcmy^tss, 

I Ysets obliged eofitinually to pore, and 
again ra^ife his Hiftory of B^ajiden- 
bouig, and all the reft of his Avorfe. 



La Metric died fiotii *haVing"caten ar 
pafty ftbffed with trnfles, after a very 
hearty dinner at the taWc of Lord Tyr- 
connel. Envoy from France. It was 
pretended l>e had been confeffed before 
his death. The King was exceedingly 
vexed at this, and took care to be ex- 
adly informed concerning the truth of 

the 



MEHlblRS OF VOXTAIRE. 135 

the afiTerrtion} they alTurcd him it 
was ak atrocious, caluanny, for La Me- 
tric bad died at he lived, abjating God 
and Phyficians. His Majefty was con* 
vinced, and immediately compofed his 
iPisneral oi-ation, which was read, in his 
liame, at a public fitting ©f the Academy, 
by Barget his Secretary. He fettled 
five-and-twenty pounds a yfear likewife 
upon a girl of the town, whom La Me- 
tric - had brought from Paris, where he 
had left his wife and children. 



Maupertuis, who knew the anecdote 
of the orange-peel, took an opportu- 
nity to fpread a report, that 1 had faid, 
the place of King's Atheift was vacant. 



1^6 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

This calumny did not fucceed; but he 
afterwards added I had alfo faid, the 
King's poetry was bad; and this an- 
fwered his purpofe. 

From this time forward, I found the 
King's fuppers were no longer fo merry 5 
I had fewer verfes to corredJ, and my dif^ 
grace was complete. 

Algaroti, Darget, and a Frenchman, 
whofe name was Chafol, one of the 
King's beft OfiGcers, left him all at once. 
I was preparing to do the fame, but I 

r - » » • 

ft 

wifhed, before I went, to enjoy the plea- 

fure of laughing at a book Maupertuis 
had juft printed. It was the beft of op- 

portunities> 



MBMOIit S O F VOLT AIR^. 1 ^7 

pDrtttnities, for ne^er had any thing a^p- 
peared fo ridiculous 6r al>furd. TKe 
good man fericwifly propbfed to tr&vel 
diredly to the two Pole?; to diffed the 
heads of giants, and discover the naturfe 
of the foul by the tejiture of thfe Iwain j 
to buHd a city, and make the inhabitants 
all iipeak Latin ^ to fink a pit to the een« 
ter of the earth j to- cure the lick, by 
plafiering them over with gum-refinj 
and,: finally, to prophefy, by enthufiafti-* 
cally inflating the fancy. 

The King laughed, 1 laughed, every 
Body ikughed at his boc/k j but there was 
a fcene ading at that time^of a fkr more 
ferious nature, concerning I know not 

N3' what 



138 MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE. 

what mathematical nonfenfe that Man- 
pertuis wanted to eftablifh as difcoveries. 
A more learned Mathematician, Ko^nig, 
Librarian to the Frincefs of Orange at 
the Hague, fhewed him his miflake, and 
that Leibnitz, who had before him ex- 
amined that old idea, had demonilrated 
its falfity in feveral of his letters, copies 
of which he fent Manpertuis. 



Maupertuis, prefident of the Academy 
at Berlin, enraged that an affociate and 
a flranger fhould prove his blunders, 
took care firil to perfuade the King, that 
Koenig being fettled in Holland, was of 
courfe his enemy j and next, that he had 
faid many difrefpedful things of his Ma- 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. I39 

jelly's verfe and profe to the Princefs of 
Orange. 

This precaution taken, he fuborned 
feme few poor penfioners of the Aca- 
demy, his dependents, had Koenig con- 
demned as a forger, and his name eraf- 
ed from the number of Academicians. 
Here however he was anticipated, for 

Koenig fent back his patent-Academi- 
cian-Dignity to Berlin. 

AH the men of letters in Europe were 
as full of indignation at the manoeuvres 
of Maupertuis as they were weary of his 
book, and he obtained the contempt and 
hatred even of thofc who did not under- 



140 MI&MOIftSOF VOLTAIRie. 

ftandthe difpute. They were obligei 
to content ihemfelves at Berlin with a 
mere flirug of the fhoulders; for the 
King having taken a part in this unfor- 
tunate affair, no perfon dtirft fpeak. I 
was the only one who fpoke out. Koe- 
nig was my friend i and I had at oncB 
the fatisfadion to defend the liberty ot 
the learned, the caufe of a friend, and 
of mortifying ^n enemy, who Was a^ 
much the enemy of inodte'fty as of itre. 



I had no intention to itay at fecrTin ; 

I had always preferred liberty to every 

thing; few men of letters have a proper 

' .... 
fenfe of it 5 moft of them are poor j 

poverty enervates, and even philofo- 



MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE. 141 

phers, at court, become as truly flaves as 
the firft Officer of the Crown, I felt 
how difplcafing my free fpirit muft be to 
a King more abfolute than the Grand 
Turk. He was a pleafant Monarch, in the 
receffes of his palace, .we muft confefs : 
he protedcd Maupertuis, and laughed at 

hiin more than any one* He writ againfl? 
him, and font his manufcript to my 
chamber by one Marvitz, a Minifter 
of his fccrct pleafures; turned to ridi- 
cule the Pit to the center of the earth, 
the method of cure with Plafter of gum- 
refin, the voyage to the South Pole, the 

Latin city, and the cowardice of the Aca- 
demy, in having fufFered the tyranny 
excrcifed upon poor Koenig. But his 



142^ MEMOTRS OP VdLTAIRft. 

motto was, No clamour when I^n't efy ; 
and he had every thing burnt that had' 
been written upon the controverfy, ex*- 

cept his own work. 

I fent him back bis order, his Cham«- 

9 

berlain's key^ and his penfion^ he theti 

did every thing in hisr power to mcdse 

me iby, and I every tiling m my powei:' 

to depart. He a^in gave me hiscsifa 

and his key, and would hate me to fxxp 

with him i I therefore once more^^fupped 
like Demodes, after which I parted with 

a pramifb to return, but with a firm dc- 
iign never to fee him mroise. 

Thu)? 



MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE. I43 

Thus there were four of us who had 

efcaped in a fliort time, Chafol, Dargetj 

-Algaroti, ai^ I ; in fad, there was no 

fuch thing as flaying. It is well known 

liow much muft be borne from Kings, 

l:>Tit Frederic was too free in the abufe 

of his prerogative, AH fociety has its 

laws," except the^^ fociety of the Lion and 

- ljie Lan^b. Frederic continually failed 

m the firft of thefe laws; which is^tofay 

nothing difoMiglng of any of the com-* 

panyL He often u&d to aik his Chanw 

h^lainPohiitz^if he would not wittingly 

ch^ge his; ceiigion a €fth time, aqd offer 

t0 :pay a hundred crowns down for h& 

QOHiiifiifiQO- ^ Good God, my dear FoU 

** nitz, 



^."raR^Tr* 



144 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

** nitz, he would fay, I have forgot the 
•' name of that perfon at the Hague, 

" whom you cheated by felling him bafe 
" for pure filver; let me beg of you to 
** affift my memory a little.'* He treated 
poor d'Argens in much the fame way j 
and yet thefe two vidims remained. Pol- 
nitz having wafted his fortune, was obli- 
ged to fwallow ferpents for bread, and 
liad no other food 5 and d'Argens had no 
property in the world, bat his Jewifli 
Letters, and his wife, called Cochois, a 
bad provincial aftrefs, and fo ugly (he 
could get no employment at any trade 
though ihe pradifed feveral. As for 
Maupertuis, who had been filly enough 

to 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 145 

to place out his money at Berlin, and 
not thinking a hundred piftoles better in 
z free country, than a thoufand in a 
defpotic one, he had no choice but to 
wear the fetters which himfelf had for- 
ged. 



O ^^- 



< 146 ) 



MEMOIR 



OF 



VOLTAIRE. 



WRITTEN BY HIMSELF. 

PART THE THIRD. 

JL/ E A V I N G my palace of Alcina, 
I went to pafs a month with the 
Dutchefs of Saxe-Gotha, the beft of 

PrincelTes, full of gentlenefs, difcretion, 
and equanimity, and who, God be thank- 
ed, did not make verfes. After that I 

fpent a few days at the country-houfe of 

the 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. I47 

the Landgrave of Heffe, who was ftill a 
remove farther from poetry than the 
Princefs of Gotha. Thus I took breath, 
and thence continued, by (hort journies, 
my route to Franckfort, where a very 
odd kind of deftiny was in referve for 
me. 

I fell ill at Franckfort, and one of my 
nieces, the widow of a Captain who had 
belonged to the regiment of Champagne, 
a moft amiable woman, with excellent 
talents, and who, moreover was efteemed 
at Paris, as belonging to the Order of 
Good Company, had the courage to quit 
that city, and come to me on the Maine, 
where (he found me a prifoner of war. 



^V\^ 



148 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

This fine adventure happened thus : 
One Freitag, who had been banifhed 
Drefden, after having been put in chains 
and condemned to the wheel-barrow, 
became afterwards, an agent to the King 
of Prufliaj who was glad to be ferved by 
fuch-like Minifters, becaufe they a£ked 
no wages but what they could fteal from 
travellers. 

This AmbalTador, and one Sch mitt, a 

tradefman, formerly condemned and pu- 
nifhed for coining, fignified to me, on 
the part of his Majefty, the King of 
Pruflia, that I muft not depart from 
Franckfort till I had given back the pre- 
cious effedls I had carried off from his 

Majefty. 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 149 

Majefty. " My vety good MefTieurs, 
•* (faid I,) I have brought nothing out 
** of that country, I can aflure you, not 
'' even the leaft regret i what, then, arc 
" thefe famous jewels of the crown of 
" Brandenbourg, that you thus re-pde- 
'' mand?"— *^ Daf it be, Montfeer, an- 
fw^^red Freitag) aiif dey vurks ouf fo^ 
'' <5^ oiif de King mine mafterr—^^ Oh! 
" (anfwered I,) with all my heart; he 
*' fhall have his works in verfe and profe, 
** though J have more titles to them than 
" Ofie/ for he made m^ a prefent of a 
" ^^ popy, printed at his own ex- 
" pence j but, unfortunately for ine, 
*' this printed copy is at Leipfic, with.^ 
^'m/ other effeas." 



1^0 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

Freitag then propofed th?it I fhould 
ftay at Franckfort till this treafure arrived 
from Leipfic, and figned the following 
curious quittance t 

Montfeer^ Jo foon as Jhawl dey great 
pack come ouf Leipfic^ mit de vurks ouf 

poejy be given mit me^ you Jhawl go ouf 
vereyou do pleafe. Given at Franckfort 
devurfi of June ^ i753- — Freitag^ Reji-- 
dent ouf de King mine mafter. 

At the bottom of which I figned,—* 
Goody vor dey vurks oufpoejy de King 

your majier ': — With which the Refident 
was well fatisfied. 



On 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. I5I 

On the twelfth of June the great pack 
of poefy came, and I faithfully remitted 
the facred depofit, imagining I might 
then depart, without offence to any 
crowned head 5 but at the very inftant 

when we were fetting off, I, my Secre- 
tary, my fervants, and even my niece^ 
were arretted. Four Soldiers dragged us 
through the midfl of the dirt, before M. 
Schmitt, who had I know not what right 
of Privy-Counfellor to the King of 
Pniilla. Th is Pranckfort trader thought 
himfelf at that moment a PrulTian Gene- 
ral J he commanded twelve of the town 
guards, with all the importance and gran- 
deur an affair of fuch confequence re- 
quired. My niece had a pafTport from 



^^ 



152 MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE. 

the King of France, and moreover, ne- 
ver had corredled the King of Pruffia's 
verfes. Women are ufually refpe6led 
amidft the horrors of war, but the Coun- 
fellor Schmitt, and the Refident Freitag, 
endeavoured to pay their court to Frede** 
ric,by hauling one of the fair fex through 
the mud. They fhut us up in a kind of 
inn, at the door of which the twelve fol- 
diers were pofted. Four others were 
placed in my chamber, four in tjie garret, 
where they had conduced my nieee, and 
four in a ftill more wreched garret, 
where my Secretary was laid upon ftraw. 
My niece, 'tis true, was allowed a fmall 
bed, but four foldiers, with fixed bay©^ 

nets, 



<-. 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. I53 

nets, ferved her inftead of curtains and 
chamber-maids. 



In vain we urged we had been invited 

to the court the Emperor had eleded at 
Franckfortj that my Secretary was a 
Florentine, and a fubjed of his Imperial 
Majefty 5 that I and my niece were fub- 
jeds of the Moft Chriftian King 5 and 
that there was no difference between us 
and the Margrave of Brandenbourg. 
They informed us that the Margrave had 
more power at Franckfort than the Em- 
peror. 



Twelve days were we held prifoners 
of war, for which we paid a hundred and 

forty 



154 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

forty crowns, or feyenteen pounds ten 
(hillings a day. Madame Schmitt had 
feized on all my efFe6ls, which were 
given back one half lighter : One need 
not wifh to pay dearer for the poefy of 
the King of Pruffia. I loft about as 
much as it had coft him to fend for me 
and take leffons, and we were quits at 
parting. 



To compleat the adventure, one Ven- 
duren, a Bookfellcr at the Hague, knave 
by profeffion, and bankrupt by habit, 
was then retired to Franckfort. This 

was the man to whom I had made a 
prefent thirteen years before of Frederic's 
manufcript of the Anti-Machiavel. One 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. I55 

finds friends where one leaft expeQs 
them. He pretended that his Majefty 
owed him fome twenty ducats, for which 
I was refponfible : he reckoned the in- 
tereft, and the intereft of the intereft. 
The Sieur Friliard, a Burgo-mafter of 
Franckfort, in the then year of his reign, 
faid he, as a Burgo-mafter, found the 
account exceedingly right j he like wife 
found the means to make me difburfe 
thirty ducats, fix . and twenty of which 
he took to himfelf, andgave the remain- 
ing four to the honeft Bookfeller, 



Thefe Oftrogothian and Vandalian af- 
fairs being all thus fati^fadorily ended, 

I em- 



156 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

I embraced my hofts, thanked them for 
their kind reception, and departed. 



Some time after 1 went to drink the 
waters of Plombieres, and with them 
drank heartily of the waters of Leathe, 
from a thorough perfuafion, that misfor- 
tunes of all kinds arc good for nothing 
but to be forgot. My niece, Madame 
Denis, who was the confolation of my 
life, attached to me by her tafte for let- 
ters, and the tendereft friendfhip, accom- 
panied me from Plombieres to Lyons. 
Here I was received by the acclamations 
of the whole city, and tolerably well too 

by the Cardinal de Tencin, Archbifhop 

of 



MSAfOlRd OF VOLTAIRE, I 57 

of Lyons, fo well known, by the manner 
in which he had made his fortune : that 
is, in making the famous Law, or Lafs, 
Author of the fyftem that ruined France, 
aCatholic. His Coundil of Embrun Hnifh- 
ed the: Fortune his eoflverfion of taw had 
bcgtm. This fyftem made him' rich 
. ■ enou'gh to ptirchafe a Carditta'Ps hat. 

T 

He was a Minifter of State, arid toMmc 
lit cota^ence^ he durft not give ffjp a 

public dinner becaufe the King of Prance 
Was v^ed that I had quitted him £ot th^ 

King of Pruffia. To this I anfVveiwi, I 

never dined, and as to Kings or Cardi* 

nals, I was the ma& who perhaps of any 

in the world was fooneft determined 
how to ad. 



Wtl^ 



•- ■> 



158 MEMOIRS pF JO^jTAIKE^ 

I had been advifed to drink the 
waters of Aix, .in Savoy, and though 
this place was under the dominion of a 

• ■ • ' * - ■ - . : . . . 

King, I proceeded to take the journey. 
I^ neceffarily pafled through Geneva, 
where the famous Phyiiciaa Tronchin . 
was ]V^ eflablifhed, and who declared 
the waters of Aix would kill, but that 
he would cure me, and I followed his 
advice. No Catholic is permitted to 
fi^ttle at Geneva, nor yet in the Swifs 
Proteftant Cantons j and it was to me a 
fubjed of pleafantry, t6 acquire donnaios . 

ill the only Country upon earfh where' it i 
was forbid I fhould have any. . 

I bought, by a very fin gular kind of- 
contrad, of which there was ne^fc^^akiiple- 



• MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRfe. I59 

in that country, a fmall eftate of about 

• . . . , , 

fixty acres, which they fold me 'for 

about twice as much as it would have 

coft toe at Paris ; but pleafure is never 
too dear. The houfe was pretty and 
commodious, and the profped charm* 
ing J it aftonifhes without tiring : on 
one fide is the Lake of Geneva, and 

, r 

the city on the other. The Rhone runs 
from the former in vaft gulhes, forming 
a canal at the bottom of my garden^ 
whence is feen the Arve defcending 
from the Savoy Mountains, and pre- 
cipating itfelf into the Rhone, and far- 
ther ftill another river. A hundred 
country-feats, a hundred delightful gar- 
dens, ornament .the borders of the lakes 

v. 

I 



l6o MliiMOIJRS OFyOJiTAIfH:. 

and rivers. The Alps at a vaft diftaiioe 
rife and terminate the hori?on^ ac4 a- 
mong their prodigious precipice*, twenty 
leagues extent of mountain are beheld 

covered with eternal fnows. 



I had another good houfe with a more 
extenfive view, at Laufanne } but ^ i^cat 
near Geneva is much more agreeable. 
In thefe two habitations I enjoyed what 
Kings do not give, or ratlier what they 

* 

take away, Liberty and Eafe. 1 like- 
Wife had what they fometimes do give, 
and what I had not of them. Here then 
1 put my own precepts in pra^ice. 

< 
How happy did I live in this iron 

age! Every convenience of life and 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. * l6l 

good cheer Were found i a ray two houfes. 
An affable and intelligent fociety, filled 
up the moments which flu dy and the 
care of my health left vacant 5 and here 

I had more than one opportunity of 
driving forrow from the bofoms of my 
dear fellow labourers in literature/ I 
was not however born rich, and it may 
be afked by what art I • tould acquire 
wealth enough to live like a Farmer- 

• • • ' 

. i . ^ 

general-, towhich I anfwer, and I would 
have Others make me their example, I 

had feen fo many men of letterj^ poor 

♦ » ■■ . 

and defpifed, that 1 had long determined 
not to augment the number^ 

In. France every man roufl be either 
the hammer or the anvil, and I was 

P n V^\tX 



l6t MEMOIRS G^? YOLTAiftE. : 

born the latter. A fmall patrimony 
daily becomes lefs, becaufe the price of 
every thiixg encreafes in time, and be- 
caufe government often has both rent 

and crop. 

It is nepeffary to he atfeiitiv^ tq evf ry 
alteration, which Miniftry, ever io want 
and ever inconftaiit, makes in the finan- 
ces. There always are occafional pppor- 
tunities, by which an individual may pro- 
fit without obligation to any one, and 
nothing is fo agreeable as to be onefelf 
the founder of one's fortune. The. f^rft. 
efforts are a little 'painful, the following 
are pleafant j and he who is an oeconomift 
in his youth, will be fuprifed in old age 

at 



MEMOIRS OF V^LT^I&E. 765 

at his own wealtlfi, which is the time when 
fortune is moft neceffary. It was then 
I^ enjoyed fortune: that after having 
lived with Kings, I became a King my- 
felf. 



And new, while living in this peace- 
able opulence, and the moft rigid inde- 
pendence, the King of Pruffia thought 
proper to be appeafbd: in 1755 he fent 
me an Opera he h^ madf from my Tra- 
gedy of Merope, which was, without dif- 
pute, the worft thing he ever writ. From, 
that time he continued to write to me : I 
always had held a correfpondence with 
his fifter the Margravefs of Bareith, 

whofe 



l64 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE; 

whofe good-will towards me was unaU 
terable. 

Thus while I, in my retreat, enjoyed 
the moft pleafant life imaginable, I had 
the philofophic fatisfadion of feeing, that 
the Kings of . Europe tafted not of 
my tranquillity i and of thence itiferring, 
that the fituation of an individual is of- 
ten preferable to that of the greateft 
Kings, aj will prefently be feen; ^ *: 



J / 



In 1756, England made a piratical war 
upon France forfome acres of fnow^ at 
the fame time that the Emprefp (^leen 
of Hungary appeared very dcfiious to 
recover her dear Silefia, of which Ihe 

had 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 165 

had been pillaged 1:^ his Majefty of 
.Pruffia. For thi« purpofc ihe negoci- 
irted with tJicEmprefs of Ruffia and the 
Kmg oi Poland, that is, in quality of 
EleQor of Saxony, for nobody negoci- 
ates with the Poles. On the ather hiind. 

w 

tbeKiiHg of France wished to revenge 
bimfcif upon Hanover for the mifchief 
whix?h the Eleflor of Hanover, the King 
of ]^laad, did him at fea. Frederic, 
who a;t that time was in alliance with 
France, and who held our government 
in the^TOoft profo^^nd eontempt:, prefer- 
j^d an aliip-nc^ with England ; he there- 
fore wAited himfelf with the Houfeof 
Hjnowp, ii«ia.giaing he could keep the 
^ui^ns Qtft pf Pmffia with one hand, and 



l66 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

the French out of Germany with thcothcr. 
He was miftaken in both thefe imagin- 
ings j but there was a third in which he 
was not miftaken ; this was, to invade 
Saxony under pretext of friendlhip, and 
make war upon the Emprefs Qjieen of 
Hungary with the money he fhould rob 
the Saxons of. The Marquis of Bran- 
denbourg'^ by this remarkable manoeuvre, 
fingly changed the whole fyftem of Eu- 
rope. The King of France, defirous of 
retaining him in his alliance, fent the 
Duke de Nivernois, a man of wit, and 
who made very pretty verfes, into Pruf- 
fia. The embaffage of a Duke, a peer, 
and a Poet, feemed likely to flatter the 

vanity and tafte of Frederic 'j but he 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 167 

laughed at the King of France, andfigned 
his treaty with England. The very day 
the Ambaffador arrived, he played ofF 

the Duke and the peer very happily, and 
made an epigram upon the Poet. 

It happened at that time to be the pri- 
vilege of poetry to govern kingdoms. 
There was another Poet at Paris alfo, a 

man of rank, very poor, but very ami- 
able ; in a word, the Abbe de Bernis, 
fince Cardinal. He began by writing 
yerf^s againft me j he afterwards was ixiy 
ftieady though that was of little fervice 
to him V ■ but he likewife became the 
firiend of Madame de Pompadour, and 
flie fervcd him effedually. He had 

bcea 



l68 MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE. 

been fent from ParnaiTus on an embaiffjr 
to Venice J and he was then rctnmcd to 
Paris and in great credit. 



The King of Pruffia had glided a t^rfe 
in his poor book of poefy, which that 
Freftag had re-demahded fb earneftiy at 
Franckfort, againft the Abb^ de Bernis. 



** Avoid the Jierilahindanct of BernisP 

I do nt)t believe either the book or 
ttie verfe ever reached the Abb6^ biit as 
God isjnft, God imade him an iiiftrunaent 
to avenge France of Frederic. The 
Abbe concluded ail ofFenfivc and de- 

£&n£ve treaty vvith M. de Staiemberg^ 

the 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 169 

the Auftrian Ambaffador, in defpight of 
RouiUe, then Minifter for Foreign Af- 
fairs. Madame de Pompadour prefided 

at that negociation; and Rouille was 
obliged to fign the treaty, in conjundion 
with the Abbe de Bernis, which was a 
precedent without example. Rouille, it 

muft be owned, was the inoft ufelefs Se- 
cretary of State the King ever had ; and 
moreover, the moft ignorant the Long 
Robe ever knew. He afked one day if 
Wateravia was in Italy ? While there 
was nothing difficult to tranfad he was 
fufFered 5 but as foon as great objeds 
came on the tapis, his infufEciency was 
felt, and the Abbe de Bernis fupplied his 
place. 



170 MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE. 

Mademoifellc Poiffon, the wife of Lc 
Normand, and Marchionefs de Pompa- 
dour^ was in reality' firft Minifter of 

State. Certain outrageous terms let flip 
againft her by Frederic, who neither 
fpared women nor poets, had wounded 
the Marchionefs to the heart, and con- 
tributed not a little to that revolution in 
affairs, which, in a moment, re-united the 

French and Auflrians after nibre than 
two hundred years of a hatred fuppofed 

to be immortal. The court of France, 
that pretended to crufh Auftria in 1741, 
fupported her in 17565 and ih'-conclu- 
fion, France, Sweden, Ruffia,'Htingary, 
the half of Germany, and the Fifcal of 
the Empire, all declared againft the fingle 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. I71 

Marquis of Brandenburgh. This Prince 
whofe grandfather could fcarcely main^ 
tain twenty thoufand men, had an army 

of an hundred thoufand foot, and forty 
thoufand horfe, well provided, well fe- 
leAed, and better difciplined ; but there 
were four hundred thoufand men in arms 
to oppofe thefe. It happened in that 
war, that each party feized upon what 
was next at hand. Frederic took Saxo- 
ny ; France took the territories of Fre- 
deric, from the town of Guelders to 
Minden upon the Wefer, and for a while 
polTeffed all the Eledlorate of Hanover 
and Heffe, the allies of Frederic j while 
the Emprcfs of RuiSa,took the whole of 
Pruflia. The King of Pruflia beaten at 



172 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

firft by the Ruffians, beat the Auftrians, 
and was afterwards beaten by them in 
Bohemia the eighteenth of June, 1757. 

The lofs of one battle ought apparent- 
ly to have crufhed this Monarch ; preffed 
on all fides by the Ruffians, French and 
Auftrians, he himfclf gave all for loft. 
Marflial de Richelieu had juft concluded 

a treaty near Stade, with the Hanove- 
rians and Heffians, which greatly re- 
fembled that of the Caudian Forks. 

4 

Their army was no longer allowed to 
ferve, and the Marfhal was ready to 
enter Saxony with fixty thoufand men : 
the Prince de Soubife prepared to pene- 
trate it on another fide with thirty thou- 
fand, 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. I73 

fand, and was to be feconded by the arms 
of the circles of the empire, whence they 
were to march to Berlin. The Auilriaijs 
had gained a fecond vidory, and weife 

already in poffeffion of Breflauj and ' 
one of theii* Generals had even pnfhed 
to Berlin, and laid it under contribu- 
tion. The treafury of the King of Pruflla 
was nearly exhaufted, and in all appear- 
ance he would not long have a fingle vil- 
lage left. They were going to put him 

under the ban of the empire^ his procefs 

i '\ • 
was begun }^ he was declared a rebel, 

and had he been taken, in all probabi- 
lity would have been condemned to 

lofc his head. 



Q.i ^^ 



i 



174 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

In this extremity he took a fancy to 

kill himfelf. He writ to his fifter, the 
Margravefs of Bareith, that he was going 
to terminate his life 5 but he could not 
conclude the play without rhyming. His 
paffion for poetry was ftill ftronger than 
his hatred of life 5 he therefore writ to 
the Marquis d'Argens a long epiftle in 
verfe, wherein he informed him of his 
refolution, and bid him adieu. 

However fingular this epiftle may be, 
from the fubjed, the perfon by whom it 
Was written, and the perfon to whom 
it was addrelTed, it cannot be tran- 
fcribed entirely, becaufe of the many 
repetitions} but there are paffages, 






MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE. 175 

which I will infert, tolerably well turned 
for a Northern King. 



Yes, D'Argensy yes ; the die> mj friend^ is caft ; 
Sick of the prefent, wearj of the pad. 
To bear Misfortune's joke no longer proae> 
Henceforth or pains or pleafures I difown ; 
Nor thus in mis'ry will I deign to lire, 
The lengthen'd day, which Nature meant to gire i 
With heart well fortify'd, with ^ye as firm. 
Undaunted I approach the happy terni> 
When sight eternal fhall my foes confound. 
And fate no more fhall have the power to wound. 
Grandeurs adieu ! — ^adieu chimeras all ! 
No more your flafhes dazzle or appal ; - 
Though on my morn of life you falfely fmiPd, 
And, prone to Tain deiires, my foul beguil'd, 
Long fince have vanifli'd all defires fo vain, 
And Truth and ftern Philofophy remain. 




How 



i 



176 MEMOIRS OF VOLT AIRE. 

How friyoloui you were bj Zeno taug|;ht. 
Your errors are no longer worth a thought. 
Adieu, ye gentle pleafures and delights. 
Seductive nymphs, whofe flowery yoke unites, 
Thefweets of fmiling Gaiety and Eafe, 
And all the idle arts by which you pleafe. 
But oh ! fliall I, Misfortune's bondman, fpeak 
Of pleafures and delights, where (brrows ihriek f 

Can plaintive nightingale, or turtle-dove, 
Wheii vultures tear them, fing or coo of love? 
Long has the (tar of day but lighted me 
To new born ills, increafe of mifery; 
His poppies Morpheus has difdain'd to fhed. 
Near the dank turf where I have lain my head ; 
Each morn I cry, and ftill the tear overflows. 
Behold another day, and other woes. 

* 

When night appears, night cannot give relief, 
Each moment adds eternity to grief. 
Heroes of Liberty, whom I xt^txt^ 
Brutus and Cato, ye of foul fincere, 



1 ^-^ •■ 

! MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 17^ 

■* 

1 Your deaths, illuftrious, diffipate m/ gloom. 

Your fiineral flambeaux light me to m/ tomb; 
j' Your antique virtue Fear and Death controls, 
I' And points a road unknown to vulgar fouls. 

Vanifh, ye pompous Phantoms of romance, 

Ingend'ring fuperftitious ignorance j 

Religious aid I feek not when I'd know 

Or what we are, or whence we come or go ; 

Epicurus has taught how I'm annoj'd, 

M/ body by injurious time dedroyed ; 

And for the quick ning fire> the fpark, the breath, 

Mortal like me, it periihes in death : 

Part of a being organized 'tis born. 

Grows with the Child, and doth the man adorn % 

Suffers when I*m in pain, pleaa'd when I am pleas'd. 

Is old when I am, ill when I'm difcas'd 1 

'J 

And when eternal night ihalllife invefl;, ' 

Will fink, like roe, to everlafting reft. J 

A vanqiuilh'd fugitif e, by friends betray'd, J 

I fttflfer tormentsmore than e'er were laid j 



«^=_ 



-,. fere M^«'*=^ 

*"^'"'" >..»"'■ •»'^"°', 
c with one tiOi>*« ^j^ 

So, ^»^^ « ^y oftis tics c 

Dtop o'er »y *°"' 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 179 

the Abbe de Chaulieu and me. The 
ideas are often incoherent, and the verfes 
in general unmufical 5 but there are fomc 

good; and it was a great thing for a 
King to write two hundred bad verfes in 

the ftate he then was. He was defirous 

V 

it fliould be faid he preferved all his pre- 
fence of mind and liberty, of thinking, 
at a moment when they are ufually loft 
to others. 



The letter he writ me teftified the fame 
fentiments, but there were lefs of eter-- 
nal Nighty Myrtles and Rqfes^FIambeaux^ 
Chimeras^ and Jhrieking Sorrows. I com- 
bated in profe the rcfolution he had 
taken to die, and had not much trouble 



l8o MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE, 

in perfuading him to live. I advifed 
him to imitate the Duke of Cumberland, 
and fet a negociation on foot with Mar- 
Ihal Richelieu ; in fhort, 1 took all the 
liberties one could take with a defpair- 
ing Poet, and who was not likely much 
longer to be a King. He writ to Mar- 
fhal Richelieu, but not receiving any 
anfwer he determined to beat us, and 
fent me word he was going to attack 
Marfhal de Soubife. His* letter finiflied 
with verfes, worthy of his fituation, his 

dignity, his courage, and his wit. 

When fhipwreck flares us in the face, 
Daring let us death embrace. 
And live and die a King. 



As 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. l8l 

As he marched towards the French 
and Iihp^rialifis, he writ to the Mar- 

gravefs his fifter, that he fhould kill him- 
felf, but he was happier than he faid or 
hoped. He waited on the fifth of No- 
vember, 1757, for the French and Impe- 
rial army, in a tolerably advantageous 

poll, at Rofbach, on the frontiers of Sax- 
ony •, and as he had been continually 
talking of killing himfelf, he was willing 
his brother Prince Henry, fhould per- 
form this promife for him, at the head of 
five Fruffian battalions, which were to 
fuftain the firft fhock of the enemy, while 
his artillery thundered upon them, and 
his cavalry attacked theirs. 

R Prince 



l82 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE* 

Prince Henry was, in fad, flightly 
wounded in the neck by a mufket-ball) 
and I believe was the only Pruffian hurt 
on that day. The French and Auftrians 
fled at the firft difcharge, and the rout 
was the moft unheard of and complete 
that Hiftory can afford. The battle of 
Rofbach Aall long be celebrated. Thirty 
thoufand French, and twenty thoufand 
Iraperialifts, were feen flying, fhamefully 
and precipitately, before five battalions 
and fome fquadrons. The defeats of 
Agincourt, CrefTy, and PoidHers, were 
not more humiliating. The difcipline 
and military evolutions, which the father 
had began and the fon made perfed, 
were the true caufe of this ilrange vic- 



MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE. 183 

tory. The Pruffian exercife had been fifty 
years in bringing to perfedion. They 
wifhed to imitate them in France as well 
as in other countries ; but they could 
not effed that with the French, natu- 
rally averfe to difcipline, in four years, 
which thePruffians had been fifty about. 
They had even changed their manoeuvres 
in France at each review, fo that the 
ofiicers and foldiers, not half perfed in 
each n6w oiie, and the evolutions being 
all diflferent from one another, had in 
reality learnt nothing, but was adually 
without any kind of difcipline. All vras 
in diforder at the very fight of the Pruf- 
fians i and Fortune, in one quarter of 
an hour, fnatched Frederic from the 



—^k 



l84 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

depth of defpair to feat him on the 
heights of happinefs and glory. 



He was, however, very fearful, that 
this good fortune was merely temporary; 
he dreaded to fupport the whole weight 
of the French, Ruffian, and Auftrian 
powers, and was defirous of detaching 
Louis XV. from Maria-Terefa. 

The fatal affair at Rofbach, occafioQcd 
all France to murmur at the tre.aty of 
the Abbe de Bcmis with thj5 court cf 
Vienna. The Cardinal dc Tcnein, 
Archbifhop of Lyons, had always main- 
tained his rank of Minifter of State, anda 
private cortefpondence with the King of 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE, 185 

Prance, and he was, more than any oiie^ 
averie to the Auftrian alliance. He had 
given me a reception at Lyons, which he 
had a right to believe was not Very fatis^ 
fadioryj the itch of intriguing, how- 
ever^ which followed him in his retreat, 
and which, it is faid, never leaves men 
in place, made him defirous of leaguing 
with me to engage the Margravefs of 

Bareith to treat with him, and put the 
interefis of her brother in his hands. 
He would reconcile the King of Pruffia 
to the King of France, and hoped to 
procure a peace. It was not difficult to 
perfuade Madame de Bareith, and the 
King her brothei^, to this negociation • 

and I undertook it with the greater ala-- 

R3 ciXNi^ 



crity, becaufe I forcfaw it 
ceed. The Margravefs wrote to Frede- 
ric, and the letters between her and the 

Cardinal paffed through my hands. I 
had the fecret fatisfaftion of being the 
intermediator in that grand affair ; ^and 

perhaps a ftill farther pleafure, that of 
forefeeing the Cardinal was preparing 

for himfelf a fubjed of great difappoint- 
mcnt. He writ to the King of France, 
and inclofed the letter of th? Margra-^ 

vefs ; but how utter was his iiftonifhment 
at receiving a laconic anfwer from the 
King, informing him, the Secretary for ' 
Foreign Affairs would inform him of his 'j 
royal intentions. The Abbe de Bernis f 

f 

dieted the anfwer ^yhich the CardinaL 

.-,„.,. / waf 



MEMPIH« PF VOLT AIR R iSj 

was obliged to fend to Frederic 5 which 
anfwer was an entire refufal to ncgociate. 
Ho was fpi^0d to fign a cppgr of this 

ktter, by which c:^rery thing was ended, 
and died of ciiagrin in about ii fortnight 
afterwacdfi. 

* ■ - 

I never could thoroughly umderftand 
this kind of death, or how Minifters of 
State, and old Cardinals with hardened 

fouls, ihould have a fufficient degree of 
fenfibility, to die through foSfc trifling 
difguft. My defign was only to laugh at 
him 5 to mortify, and not to kill. 

There was a kind of greatnefs iii the 
Miniftry refufing thus to treat of peace 

with 



i 



1.88 MEMOIRS OF VbLTAIRl!. 

with the King of Pruilia^ after having 

been beaten by him, and humhied ; 
there was alfo great fidelity and good- 
nature in faerificing themfelves for the 
Houfe of Auftria 5 but thefe virtues were 
long ill recompenfed by Fortune. The 
Hanoverians, Hefilans, and Brunfwicki- 
ans, were lefs obfervant of public fiith, 
but more fuccefsful. They had flipula- 
ted with the Marfhal de Richelieu not 
to bear arms againft us, nor to repafs the 
Elbe, beyond which they had been fent- 
back; they, however broke their bargain 

of the Caudian Forks as foon as they knew 
we had been beaten at Rofbacb. Defer- 

tion, the want of difcipline, and difeafe, 

dcltroyed our armies ; and the refult of 



^MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE, 189 

all our operations, in the fpring of 1758, 
was, that we had loft twelve millions and 
a half fterling, and fifty thoiifand men in 
Germany, in fupport of Maria-Terefa, 
as we had done in 1741 with fighting 
againfther. 

The King of Pruflia, who had beaten 

our army at Rofbach, in Thuringua^ 

went next .to fight the -A^ftrian a^fpy at 

fixty leagues diftaace- The Fucniih 
then might ftill have entered Saxony j 

the vidors were gone, there wis nothing 
to oppofe them j but they had thrown 
away their arms, loft their cannon, am- 
munition, provifions, and efpecially their 

pnderflandmg, TJjiey \yfre difp^rfexj 



y • 



190 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

and their remains were with difficulty 
colleded. A month afterwards, and on 
the fame day, Frederic gained a flill 
more fignal and better fought vidory 
over the Auftrians near Breflau, He 
retook Breflau with fifteen thoufand pri- 
foners, and the reft of Silefia was foon 
fubdued. Guflavus Adolphus never 
performed fuch aQs 5 we mufl therefore 
pardon him his poetry, his pleafantries, 
his little malice, and even his feminine 
fins. The defeds of the man vanifh be- 
fore the glory of the hero. 



m 



1 left writing memoirs of myfelf on 
the lixtlf of November, 1759, thinking 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. I9I 

them as ufelefs as Bayle's letters to his 
mother ; the life of St. Evremont, writ- 
ten by Defmaifcaux, or of the Abbe 

Mongon, written by himfelf. But many 
things, either new or laughable, have 

again induced me to the ridicule of 
ipeaking of myfelf *. I behold from my 
windows the city where John Chanvin, 
the Picard, called Calvin, reigned j and 
the place where he burnt Servet for the 
good of his foul. Almoft all the Priefts 
of this country think at prefent like 

Servet : nay they even go farther. 
They do not believe that Jefus Chrift 

• From this paflagf, and others, it is evident 
thefe memoirs were addrefTed to fome individual^ a 

Lady, by Voltaire. ^ 



was God 5 and thefe Meifieurs^ who for- 
merly gave no quarter to purgatory, are 
now fo far humanifed, as to find favour 
for fouls in hell. They pretend their 

torments /hall not be eternal ; that The- 
feus Ihall not always fit upon his ftony 

chair, nor Syfiphus continue everlafting- 

ly to roll his rock. Thus they have 

turned their hell, in which they no 
longer believe, into purgatory, in which 
alfo they do not believe.. This is rather 

a pleafant revblution in the Hiftory of 
the human mind, and might furnifh dif- 
putes enough for the cutting of throats, , 
making of bonfires, and ading St. Bar- [ 
tholomew's day once more. And yet ' 
they do • not even call names, and re- 

5jtoach 



• * y 



MilWdtRS Of VOLTAmE. I93 

ptoidlb: 6ae Another, fo- iiiuch a"re man- 
tiers changed, f mult mdeed except 
myfelf, whom onc^ of their Preachers 
attacked for havTtrg dared to affert that 
Galv'fa, the Picai^cfi wasof af^crtiel Mature, 
and had burnt Servet withdut caufe. 
Only obferve the contradidions of this 
world ; here ar? people ^Imoft avowed^- 
ly fedaries of Servet, who, yet, abufe 

me becaufe I found Calvin wrong for 

' . ' ' . - - ■ - ■ ' 

burning him at a flow fire of green 

faggots. ' . 

They would prove to me in form, that 
Calvin was a good chriftian, and pe- 
titioned the council of Geneva to com- 
municate the papers ufed on the trial of 



194 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

4 

Scrvct i but the Council was more pru- 
dent ; the papers were refufed, and they 
forbidden to write againft me in Geneva. 
I look upon this i little triumph, . as one 
of the ftrongeft propfs' of the progrefs of 
reafon in our age. 

Philofophy enjoyed a ftill more iignal 

> --';■- 'V V •■^- ^^'"-'•- • -^ ' •' 
vidory over its enemies at Laufanne. 

Some Gofpel Minifters of that country 
thought proper to compile, I know not 

what bad book againft me, for the ho- 
nour, as they called it, of chriftianity ; 
and I, with little difficulty, w^s empower- 
ed to feize and fupprefs the impreffion 

-J 
by authority of the Magiftrates^ /j^his was 

perhaps the firft time Theologians, have 

been 



f 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. I95 

been obliged to be filcnt, and refped a 
Philofopher. Judge then if I ought not 
paflionately to love this country. Yes, 
tliinking beings, I affert it is exceeding- 
ly agreeable to live in a republic where 
you may fay to its chiefs^—Come to- 

morrow and dine with tne. 

. V ^ , • 

. ■ •■ ' ' ' 

• - I 

I did not, however, yet think myfelf 
perfedly free 5 and as I held this a fub- 
jeifl worthy att^e"ntl6n', that I might be- 
Come fo,' I purchafed fome adjoining 
lands in France. There were two eftates, 
a'bcmt )a league from Geneva, which had 
formerly enjoyed all the privileges of that 
city; and I had the good fortune to ob- 
tain a Brevet from the King, by which 



196 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 



• ♦ ♦ 



thofe privileges were continued to jpae. 
At laft I fo managed my deftiny, that I 
was independent in Switzerland, in the 
territories of Geneva, and in France: I 

have heard much of liberty, but do not 
believe there is an individual in Europe 
who had wrought his own freedom lijcp^ 
me. Let thofe who will, follow my 
example i or rather, thofe who can. 

- ^ * -* • * 

I certainjy could not h^ve chofeij ^ 

'■' _^ . (. /' ! rf . • • • 

.V 

better time than thi?^ to enjoy repofe far 
from Paris. They were then as mad 
and inveterate ahmit their private ilif- 
putes as in the^ d^^j of the Fronde^ ck^ 
cept having actually a civil war. But 
as they had neither ^ Mpnarch Q^ th© 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 197 

market-place like th^^Diike de Beaufort, 
nor a Coadjutor, granting benedidions 
with a dagger, they proceeded only to 
Hvordy wars. T^hey began by forging 
batik bills for the other world, invqnted 
as i have already faid by Beaumont, 
Archbifhop of Paris, an obftinate man, 
whtir did evil with all his heart, and from 
ah ^excefs of 'zoAi. He was a ferious 
fool, fdmething in the ftyle of St. 
Thomas a Beckef. The quarrel grew 
more viorenf concerning an office in the 
hofpital, the appointment to which the 
Parliament pretended was in them ; and 
tH'e Archbifhop holding it to be a facred 
place, faid it depended totally on the 
church. Paris was all divided into par- 



198 MEMOmS QF yOLTAIRB* 

tics, and the trifling fadlioBS of Janfeni^ 
and Molinifts did not fpare each other. 
The King thought proper to treat them 
as they fometimes Ibr ve fools who iigbt 
in the ftreet, OY^r whom, they throw 
buckets of water to part them : he very 

rightly faid they were both wrong 5 bvt 
they remained not the h& cny^npijaed. 
He exiled the ArchbjfliQp apd; the JP^^ 
liament 5 but a mafter fhould not turn 
off his fervants, till he is certain of 604-* 
ing others to fupply their plapes. The 
Court was obliged to recall the Parlia-^ 
ment, bec^ufe a Chamber, called royal, 
compofed of CounfeUors of State, an4 
Matters of Requefts, and ere<led to de- 
termine Law-fuits, had loft its pratflice. 



TheiPariiianshad takea a fancy not to 
plej^ before any comrt of juftice, ex- 
cept that called the Parliament. All 

thq .fli^j^i(t#«i tbweJfor^ were recailed.^ 

snd wiftgiiutd they had gained a lignal 
viQory oter the KJQg. They paternally 
advifed him. m their rcsoonftranccs no 
^Qr^ to banil&iiis Parliament, bqcaiifc^ 
faid. they, that is giving a very had €9^ 
ample. They proceeded to foch lengths 
at kft, that the King refolved to aboliih 
one of their Chambers^ and diminifh the 
others J and foon after thefe Meffieurs, aM 

bad their difmiffion, except thofe of the 
greart Chamber. LoQd murmurs now went 
abroad ; they publicly jdeclaimed againft 
the King, and the fire which came out 
of their mouth v\xi\\a^^A^ ^^.^\"^gj;>Sw v^r» 



200 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

brain of a Lackey, named Damiens, 
who often frequented the great Hall 
It is proved by the procefs, this fanatic 
of the long robe never intended to kill 
the King, but only to inflid a gentle 
corredion. There is nothing fo abfurd 
which may not enter the head of man. 
This poor wretch had been tifAet tof the 
Jefuit's College, where Ihavfe foraetiknes 
feen the fcholars give flight ftabs with 
their penknives, andtheuflieife return 
them. Damiens, therefore went to Ver- 
failles with this refolution, and there in 
the midft of his courtiers and guards 
wounded the King with a fmall pen- 
knife. >. ; 

They did not fail durine, the firft hor- 
ror of the accident, to \n\^\3.\.e \\vt\^Q^ ^"^ 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 201 

the arm of theJefuits,to whom, faid they, 
it belonged according to ancient ufage. 
I have read a letter from one father 
GrifFet, in which he fays, This time it 
nioas not us ; // is at pre/ent the turn of 
MeJ/kurs. It was of courfe the ofEce of 
the Grand Prevot of the Court to judge 

the affaflin, becaufe the crime had been 
committed within the precinds of the 
palace. The culprit began by accufing 
feven members of the court des Enquetesy 
and they wifhcd nothing better than to 

tcave this accufation .upon record, and 
exccutte the criminal. ■ Thus the King 
midered the Parliament odious, and ob- 
tained an advantage which will endure 
as long as the Monarchy. 



( 202 ) 



ME M O I R 



O F 



V O L T A I R E. 



WRITTEN BY HIM8£LF. 



PART THE FOURTH AND LAST. 

1 T was thought that M. d'Argcnfon 
advifcd the King to grant the parlia- 
ment permifllon to judge the foregoing 

afFair, and he was well rewarded; fo^ 
eight day3 after he loft his place, and 
was exiled. The King had the weaknefs 
to grant large penfions to the Cpunfellors 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 203 

who conduced the trial of Damiens, as 
if they had rendered him feme fignal 

and difficult fervice ^ which condud in- 
fpired them with new confidence. They 
again imagined themfelves important per- 
fonages, and their chimeras of reprefent- 
ing the nation, and being tutors to 
Kings, were once more awakened. 



This fcene over, and having nothing 
-elfe tp; do, th^y amufed themfelves with 
;perf§ctitiag the philufophers. Omer 
. Joli dfe : Fleviry, Advocate-General of 
-tjre parliament of "Paris, difplayed a 
ctriuraph the .moft complete, that igno- 
rarice^ deceit, and hypoctify, ever ob^ 
tained. Several men. of letters moft 



204 MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE. 

eftimable from their learning ahd de- 
portment, formed an afTociation to eom- 
pofe an immenfc didlionary of whatever 
could enlighten the human mind, and it 
became an objed of com-m-etce with the 

bookfellers* The Chancellor, th^ Mi- 
niftry, all encouraged an enterpi^izc fo 
noble.j fevcn volume^ had already ap- 
peared ; and were tranflatcd intoEnglifh, 
Italian, German, and Dutch. This trea- 
fure opened by the French to all nar 
tions, might be confidered as what did 
us at thattime the moft honour 5 fo much 
were the excellent articles in the Ency- 
clopedia fuperior to the bad, which were 
alfo tolerably numerous. They had 
Jit tie to complain of in the work, except 



.M-EMaiJlV8 or V04LT AI R«. 205 

too iM&k^ pue? ilc dedam»ti<m$ unfor- 
tofiaitely adopted b^ the ^^tliars of th^ 

«Ji9ttp<flt0q, wh^fei^ed wbadfeii5cr came to 

jtiiid to iWeU tlJQ&lDOok; b which 

-thofe authors ^writ tkem&l veb was good. 

. . ; . - ■ , . . . \ ' . 

Omer Joli de Fleury, however, on the 
Jtwer\lg5^thjtr4pf ^^rmtVilf'^9^i secured 
theife poor phiLpfophecs of t?i$ij»gj^tJ^jfts, 
DeiflB»>QCu:rupters.;9f youth, ij^JikA? :to thf 
Kiog^ &c. &G, &c..3nd,t<) prpvefcisHafi- 
cufation, cited St. Pftul^ ao^ Jhe tri^s 
of Theophilus and Abraham Chaumaix*. 

♦ Ahraham Chavmaix, formerly * * ♦ Tinco Janfcwft 
and Convuliionary, was then the oracle of the parliament 
of Paris. Omer Joli de Fleury cited him as a Father of 
the Church ; he has €nce been a fchool'mafter at Mof- 



206 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

He wanted nothing but to have read the 
book againft which he exclaimed ; for if 
he had read it, he was a ftrange imbecile 
being. He demanded . juftice of the 
Court againft the article y^i//, which, ac- 
cording to him, ms pure materialifm. 

Pray remark that iht article /bu/j one 
of the worft in the work, was written by a 
poor Dodor of the Sorbonne, who killed 
himfelf w^ith declaiming, tight or wrong, 
againft materialifm. ^ 

The whole difcourfe of this Omer 

Joli de Fleury was a ftring of fimilar 

. '1 / '■ .■ ' ^ 

blunders. He informed againft a book 

... ' » 

he had either act read, or not under- 



r V 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 207 

flood; and the entire parliament, at the 
requifition of Omer, condemned the 
work not only without examining, but 

even without reading a fingle page. This 
manner of doing juftice, is very much 
beneath the cuftom of Bridoye, for 
there they may chance to be right. 

The editors had procured the King's 
privilege, and the parliament certainly 

had no right to revoke a privilege 
granted by his Majefty^ It appertains 
to them neither to Judge of an Arret 
duConfeil^ nor of any thing confirmed in 
Chancery : they however affumed the 
power to condemn what the Chancellor 

had approved, and appointed Lawyers 



2o8 MEMOIRS OF VQLTAIRB. 

to decide upon the fwbjcds of geonietfy 
and metaphyfics contained in the Ency- 
clopedia. A chancellor of the feaft for- 
titude would have annulled the Arret of 
parliament as incompetent: the Chan^ 

cellor L' Amoignon fatisfied himfelf with 
revoking the privilege, that he might 
not undergo the fhame of feeing what 
he had ftamped wkh the feal of fupreme 
authority judged and condemned. 



One would imagine this adventure 
had happened in the days of Father 

Garafle, and that thcfe were arrets 
againft taking emetics; but on the *bn^ 

trary, it was in the moft enlrghtcnetJ 

a^e France had ever feen. So true is it 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 209 

that one fool is enough to dijhonour a 
nation. 



No one will fcruple to confefs, that 
under fi?ch circumftances, Paris was no 
reftmg-place for a Philofopbery aiid that 
Ariftotle was very prudent in retiring to 
Chalcis when Fanaticifih reigned at 
Athens, Befidcs, the condition of a man 
of letters at Paris, is but one ftep above 
a Mountebank. 



.The pjace of Gentleman in ordinary 
to his Majefty, which the King had 
given me^ was no .great thing. Men 
atd very filly ; for my fjart, I think it 
much better to build a fine houfe, as I 



;0 MEMOIRS OP VOLT AIR*. 

ifd, have a theatre, and keep a good? 
table, than to be hunted at Paris Ifke 
Helvetius, by people holding the court 
of parliament, or by other peo^te h^l^d- 
i ng. the ftoblfts , o£ the Soi^onne; A^i 
was^ certain I ockild neither maikejo^^ 
more reasonable, the ipxtlmmetafi leSsi 
p^^al^tic, nor the Iffaeolbgiaxrs lefaividiL. 
culoi)Sv I CQOtanned ta be ^laqrpy fajp £cottii 
their {bUics^. 



And yet while I contemplate the 
flonn, iami alamfii aihsmied of ttty own 

y 

tranquillity. I behold Gennany dy ed^ i« / 
biopd J Francp utti^y ruined; our fleetarr 
and am^as J^eafen;: our MinifleTS difJ 
QsiiTed^ ope after ztMhtr^ witiloot ^a^f 



proCpeSt of befter faec^^ ; dttd tijt Kiwg 
of P^n^tugael afTaiffifiat^*!, £ioi i^ si Lik>- 
key,.lmt tfte NobiRty of the kmgdom. 
Nfeitfttttafftffe JfefoJw this time fey- /> 
•Etta's fMfii^ .' tHey him ertrefirfly pitefcf verf 
tfedf rigfifeV If to- htHh f^mi^ditty^ 

pro^cdP lftd& good'Hthtlrfflfad gitefittKi 
f^^tifi^knifetbtlieFkrribkl^. Wlityi 

give fe* retffdfi'^theM' fovtw%fliy ^'Fzta*^ 
gaa^) afld &i^ th€3r htf^efiHsftfed^I^ tfte 

King of Poirttrga! its ftoitt cwwit ttf 
crown. 

I ihall now fe^late a ttiding, bot {(s 
Angular an adventure as ever happened 
iince Kings and Poets firft were feen on 
earth. Frederic having pafTed fome 



212 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

time guarding the Frontiers of Silefia 
in an impenetrable camp, began to be 
tired of inadtivity ; and therefore to pafs 
time away, compofed an Ode^ and figned 
it Frederic; this he put at the head of 
an enormous bundle of verfe and profe, 
which he fent to me* I opened the 
package, and found I bad not been: the 
firft who had performed that operation; 
it was evident the feals had bieeii broken^ 
and I was terrified at reading the follow- 
ing verfes: . . , 

Oh trifling nationy light and vain! 
Arc thefc the warriors whom Turcnnc 
And Luxembourg with laurels bound, 
With Fame's immortal honours crown'd ; 

Who, 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 2J3 

Who, as wfe*fc^, ti>Jd in ancicnl' ftory. 
Danger and death defpis'd fbr glory ? 
Lo the vile rout ! behold each flave 
Fearful in fight, m pillage brave f 

Bekold their feeble monarch movet 

« . 

The tool of Pompadour and Love ! 
To Love opprobrious, as to Fame, 
Va-wopihy he the Monarch's name : 

At random fe» he flings the reiMn 
Detefling Empire's anxious pains ; 

His land and people in dldrefsy^ 
He revels on in lewd excefs j 
Himfelf aflave, when pride infiktes, 

^ould^ dldlte laws to Kings and Slfttes. 

I trembled as I read the poem, fome 
lines of which are excelleht^ or may pafs 
for fuch. I had unfortunately acquired, 

and deferved, the reputatioa of having 

been 



214 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

been the continual corredor of the King 

■ 

of Pruflia's poetry. The packet had been 
opened, the verfes read, might perhaps 
be publifhed, the King of France would 

attribute them to me, and I fhould be- 
come not only guilty of high treafon 
againfl the King, but, which Is flill 
worfcy againft Madame de Pompadour. 

In this perplexity I defired the French 
Rcfident at Geneva to come to my 

houfe, and flicwed him the packet. He 
agreed it had been opened before it arriv- 
ed, and thought there was no other way 
of ading in a cafe where the fafety of my 

head was concerned, but fending it as it 
was to the Duke de Choifeul, Miniher of 



M£MOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 21 5 

State. In any fituation but this I fhould 
not have followed his advice ; b\it it was 
neceffary to prevent my own ruin, and 
I acquainted the court with the true 
character of its enemy. I knew the 
Duke de Choifeul would not betray me, 
but content himfelf with perfuading 
his Majefty that Frederic was an enemy, 
whom, if they could, they ought to 
crufh. 

The Duke did not flop here j he was 
a man of wit, wrote verfes, and had 
friends who wrote alfo : He paid the 
King of Pruffia in his own coin, and fent 
me a fatire againft Frederic, as biting 
and unmerciful as his own. The follow- 



2l6 MEMOIRS OF: Vei.iri4<&fG^. 

ing lines, are cisXra&B from this IV^ 



cm *: 



«' 



No longer he the maOj by whonj 
The art« from black oblivion's tonib 
Were call'J and o'er Gerniania fpread : 
A hufbind, brother, fon of gurit. 
His Sifetin ju(lkie»<wo«ldl»aYe fpiU 

The blood whi<rh fo:mueh blood has ilicd. 



Yet he audacious, durfl afpire 

To touch ApolJo's facred lyre ; 

The rhyming King of Poet-tafters : 

His Mars and Phccbus are the tame, * 
Alike in war mS yetk his fame, 

Zoilus and Mtevius are his Wfters. 



♦ I have been affured by M. the P. F. of S. thii 
Ode was written by S. Palinot dc Montcnoy. 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 217 
Beliolfi) in fpite of ail his guards, 

c 

Wkere Nero meets the due rewards 
Of all his hideous provocations } 

* ; ' ' - i '..■'■'. ^ • ■ 

The Tyrant fee of Sjracufe 

■ ■ . • ' ' 

Now proftitute a barren mufe. 
Defpis'd while he infult's the nations. 

And wherefore. Savage Cenfor, fay, 
Would'ft thou impede their haxmlefs pfejr, , 
When Love, with Nature, fniiling comes ? " ► 
Shalt thou pretend to judge their rites. 

Who ne'er could'ft tafte but thof? delights 

- ■ • . . •. » 

Imparted by thy noily drums ? 



The Duke de Choifeul affured me 
when he fentthis anfwer, that he would 
print the fatire if the-King of Prufliapub- 
lifhed his j and added, they would beat 
him as heartily with the pen^ as they 



2l8 MEMOIRS OF VOTLf AlikE. 

hoped to do With the fword. Had t 
been inclined fo to amufe myfclf, it de- 
pended only on me to. fet the King of 
France and the King of Pruffia to war 
in rhime, which would hare been a farcfe 
of novelty upon earth. But I enjoyed 
another pleafure ; that of being more 
prudent than Fredene. I writ him word 
his ode was beautiful, but that he ought 

* • 

not to publifli it ; he had glory enough 
without that, and fhould not fhut every 
door of reconciliation with ther Kiag of 
France, aggravate him beyond bearing, 
and force him to feme defpcrate effort 
to obtain a juft revenge. I added, ray 
niece had burnt his ode, in inortal fear 
of its being imputed to me. He, believed 



"KA 



MEMOJRS OF. VOLTAIRE. 2I9 

me. and returned me thanks ; but not 
without a, few reproaches, for having 
burnt the beft verfes he had ever writ- 
t<pn. The Duke de Choifeul kept his 
woi:cl and was difcreet. 

To m^ke the pleafantry compleat, I 
thought it poflible to lay the foundatipA 
of the peftce of Europe on thefe poetical 
pieces, which might have continued the 
^^y tp $be df^rjuc^ion of Frederic. My 
(jQrrefppndeace with the Duke de Choi- 
feul gave birth to that idea 5 and it ap- 
peared fo ridiculous., fo worthy the tranfr- 
aiStions of the tirnes, that. I indulged it, 
and had myftlf the fatisfa<aie>n of proving 
pn what >veak and invifible pivots the 



220 MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 

deftinies df nations turn. The Duke 
writ me feveral oftenfible letters, con- 
ceived in fuch terms, as the King of Pruf- 
fia might venture to make overtures of 
peace without danger of Auftria taking 

umbrage at France ; and Frederic re- 
turned anfwers in a limilar way, with 
little rifle of difpleafing the Englifh 
court This ticklifli treaty is ftill in agi- 
tation, and refembles the fports of cats,! 
which give a pat with one paw ahd a 
fcratch with the other. The King of 
Pruffia, driven out of Drefden, and 
beaten by the Ruffians, is in want of 

peace j and Fra^nce, beaten at fea by the 
Englifli, and on fliore by the Hanove- 

rians^ with a!n il\-i\med lofs of men and 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 22 £ 

money, is ol?liged f o finifli thi^ ruinpi^s 

war. 



An,d thjs, beautiful Emily, is the point 
at wjiich, for the prefent, vy:e flop. 



December 27, 17.59. 
I continue to write, and on fingular 
evenits. The King of Pruffia ended a 
letter tp me on the 17th of November 
thus 1 JJh^U write more fuUyfjrom DreJ-- 
den^ where JJhall he in three ddys-^ and 
the third day he was beaten by Marfhal 
***% with the lofs of ten thoufand 
men. It feems to me, every thing I 

r 

behold is the fable of the girl and her 
milk. Our great fea-politician^ Berci.^^^ 



222 MEMOIRS OP VOLTAIRE. 

formerly Lieutenant de Police at Paris, 
and who, from that poll, became Secre- 
tary of State and Minifter of the Marine, 
without ever having feen a veffel larger 
than the ferry-boat at St. Cloude, or the 
barge of Auxerre j this Berrier, I fay, 
took a fancy to fit out a fine fleet, and 
make a dcfcent on Englatid j but:fcarcely 
had the fleet peeped out of Breft, before 
it was beaten by the Englifli, broken 
upon the rocks, deftroyed by the winds, 
or fwallowed up by the feas. 

We have feen one Silhoutte, made 
Comptroller-General of the Finances, 
of whom, no man knew any thing except 
that he had tranflated fome of Pope's 



^s 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 223 

poetry into profe. He was faid to be an 
eagle, but in lefs than a month the eagle 
was metamorphofed to an owl. He 
found the fecret of annihilating public 
credit to that degree, that the State all at 
once wanted money to pay the troops. 
The King was obliged to fend his plate 
to the Mint, and a great part of the king- 
dom followed his example. 

January ly?, 1760. 
Frederip mufl; be perfidious j he has 
fent my confidential letters to London, 

and has endeavoured to few diflenfiog 
betwixt us and our allies. All kind of 
perfidies, permitted to a Grand King of 
Pruflia, has he aded \ even to the making 



% 



224 MEMOIRS OP VOI-TAIRE. 

of vcrfes, for thpfe he muft ever make. 
I fcnt theta to V^failles, doubting th©y 
would be accepted. He will cede no- 
thing \ aad propofes, in order to ii^^ent- 
nify the Elei^or of Sa?;Qoy, that they 
ihall>giye him Erford, which belongs to 
the Eledor of Mentz. He always jRipft 
rob Ibmebody ; it is his way, Wj? ft^^^l 
fee the refult of all this^ an(i,eif l^etCjs^ip- 
paign they are going to make. 



As this great arid horrid tragedy has 

r - ■ r . * 

ever had a mixture of the comic, fo they 
have lately printed at Paris, Des Poejies 
oufda King mine Mafter^ as Freitag fays 5 
in which there is an epiKle to Mar/hal 
Keith, where he ridicules chriftianity, 



MEMOIRS OF VOLTAIRE. 2Z^ 



and mocks at the immortality of the \^ 
foul. The devotees are difpleafcd j the 
Calvinift clergy murmur. Thefe pedants 
looked upon him as a fupportta the good 
caufe. When he threw the Magift rates 

of Leipfic into dungeons, and fold their 
beds to get their money, he had the ad- 
miration of fucb Priefts; but when he 
amufes himfelf by tranflating paflages 
from Seneca, Lucretius, and Cicero, they 
look upon him as a monfter. 

Priefts would canonize Cartouche or 
Jonathan Wild, were they devotees. 

The end. 



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