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ON THE CANDIDE OF VOLTAIRE.
moranda, what he had before written. gether free from mystery, and with Walpole, in a correspondence of forty regard to which the human inind years, he was perpetually flattering, should feel no demand either for exthough he must have imperfectly re- planation or amendment. Many of lished his fine taste, while he abhorred his contemporaries satisfied themselves the more liberal feelings to which with a sort of cant that every thing sometimes he addressed a submissive would go right if men would follow remonstrance. He has at times writ- the unperverted dictates of nature. ten a letter coolly, and at the same Voltaire, on the other hand, perceived moment chronicled his suppressed feel- around him every where the seeds of ings in his diary with all the flame discord and wretchedness, and he did and sputter of his strong prejudices. not attempt to disguise the fact. But He was expressively nicknamed Car- the true view of the universe did not dinal Cole. These scandalous chroni- lead him to just conclusions. Having cles were ordered not to be opened till suppressed in his soul what affords twenty years after his decease: he consolation amidst the assaults of miswished to do as little mischief as he fortune, it remained for him to concould, but loved to do some. When sider what other habits of thought and the lid was removed from this Pando- feeling were best calculated to fortify ra's box, it happened that some of his a human being in making his way intimate friends lived to perceive in through the jarring chaos by which what strange figures they were exhi- he is surrounded. Candide is merely bited by their quondam admirer.” an amusing parable, in which he dea
velopes his system of tactics for the campaign of human life. Voltaire's own nature, and the number of intellectual enjoyments which he possessed,
led him rather to shun external causes A WORK evolved from the mind, like of pain, than to search after external Candide, as it were spontaneously, causes of pleasure. He perceived, in and not modelled in conformity to any general, that the less purchase outward established rules of art, is of the kind circumstances obtained over him, the that is best adapted to express habits less he would suffer; and the scope of thought and sentiment. The com- of Candide, accordingly, is to palsy binations of ideas that are dictated by within the mind, by means of derilogic, or by rules of composition, have sion, every movement of pride, or comparatively little interest or mean- vanity, or shame, or the feeling of ing. They sink into oblivion because responsibility, which are all of them there is no soul or character embalmed sentiments tending to entangle us with in them, and because they merely ex- others, and subject us to the course of hibit the human mind working me- events. Pride he pays off, not by conchanically according to certain princi- gratulating himself on the possession ples.
of merit, but by saying, “ The whole Although Candide professes to be world is only a subject for mockery a refutation of optimism, it is by no and contempt. As nothing in it claims means confined to considerations ap- my respect, or mortifies me with the plicable to that subject. Whatever is appearance of cnviable superiority, I signified in it, is signified rather by can well afford to deride even myself, means of incidents than of arguments. and dispense with ambition.” The The incidents which the cynic intro- same scorn of mankind teaches him to duces, are all of them extreme cases; extinguish vanity, by representing but they are well chosen to ridicule men's suffrages as not worth obtainthe idea that the moral world is a ing, and by considering the cultivation scene fit to be contemplated with com- of the good opinion of others as a piece
placency. Voltaire had probably no of ridiculous drudgery. Shame he very distinct conception of what he gets quit of by saying to himself, “ It was attacking, at least he follows no is impudence in others to expect me close train of reasoning against it ; but to be ashamed before them of any he had too much sagacity to concur thing I can do.” Although he shakes with those low-minded sophists who off all regard for mankind, he is not endeavour to represent the condition in the least a misanthrope, but rather of the moral world as a thing alto- cultivates good nature as more convenient and agreeable for him who feels into so many separate individuals, who it; and he would consider misanthro- acknowledge no mutual obligations, pical indignation as foolish and use- but who are willing to transact coolly less. He prizes the pleasures of health with each other upon the principles of and sense, and wishes, in many res- self-interest. The habits of feeling pects, to resemble the inferior animals, which it engenders are now generally in order to be altogether free from the condemned in theory throughout Eustirrings of what he considers as un- rope, but at the same time there can profitable sentiments, although he still be little doubt that they are too exrelishes and enjoys the pleasures of tensively acted upon. In France their the understanding. But having sup- bitter consequences have been practipressed the sources of so many in- cally felt in politics; and it is to be quietudes, he finds that he has sup- hoped that the rest of the nations, in pressed also the sources of those plea- struggling to obtain rights that have sures and interests which serve to fill been too long denied them, will beup the
of existence; and, accord. ware of supposing that the torch of ingly, Candide and Martin, in culti- self-interest is all that is necessary to vating their garden, find themselves conduct them safely to freedom ; and beset by, the weariness of life, after that the severest virtues are not require they had endeavoured, by apathy, to ed from individuals, as ballast for the emancipate themselves from almost all vessel of the state, when it makes a. other evils. The freedom which phi- voyage into unknown seas. losophers of this school attain by ex- This novel, remarkable as a compotinguishing sentiment, is like the em sition for the uncommon distinctness scape of a prisoner into a barren and of the ideas, and the liveliness of their rocky island, where he finds nothing appositions, is also a model for comto subsist upon; and they are obliged, pression and vivacity of language. by the want of enjoyment, to submit Every common-place succession of themselves again to the impulses of thought is industriously broken by human feeling.
some amusing interruptions, so that As the philosophy developed in Can- the attention never flags. Neither is dide does not foster any of the pas- any thing introduced for the sake of sions, it does not lead to acts of posi- the imagination. We are never altive immorality, but only prompts lowed to dwell upon a detached object, men to a scornful neglect of all they but are hurried from one to another, owe to their fellow-creatures, and to a that every feeling may be shocked by deliberate isolation of self-interest. It the atrocity of their relations, and the inspires no arrogance, but extinguishes mind filled with amazement and deria all respect. It teaches us to consider sion, by the naked absurdities which mankind as mischievous animals, with are displayed. So long as Voltaire conwhom it would be folly to contend in tinues to paint the worst side of life, earnest, but whose malice must be he is supplied with a diabolical copis guarded against by whatever means ousness of examples ; but when, in are found most convenient, and whose describing El Dorado, he attempts to good offices should be considered as so show what human nature ought to be, much good luck. It bids us contem- the poverty of his soul becomes woplate them, not under the relations of fully apparent, and he sinks into abmorality or personal feeling, but as solute childishness.
His imaginary machines by which we must take care people are well fed, well clothed, good not to be hurt in passing. Although natured, and live under it stifles enthusiasm, it is no enemy vernment, but we see nothing of their to the pleasures of taste, or elegant aims or enjoyments. Whatever may perception, because they are so many have been the errors of Rousseau, his detached enjoyments, which may be views of human nature were, for the taken up and abandoned at will, with most part, profound and just. He did out subjecting us either to our own not seek, like Voltaire, to deaden the passions, or entangling us with the sensibility of his nature, but chose rae movements of events. The general ther to suffer to the last, and strove to tendency of this philosophy would evi- neutralize the pains to which his gedently be to disorganize society (so far nius subjected him, by a double enas its organization hinges upon the joyment of all those sweet and genefeeling of duty), and to resolve men rous sentiments with which he was so
THE LATE HOT WEATHER.
amply endowed. The internal fer- (whereof more anon) and likewise to mentations of his mind revealed every indite this epistle,-both of which thing to him, and he was almost never are of course to be devoted to the inmistaken, except in deducing practical teresting subject which has so long consequences. He was called a sophist, occupied my mind. In short, the because the purity of the sentiments theory of the union of light and heat which he uttered" was unadapted to became perfectly familiar to me. I the grovelling passions of society; but have taken it for granted, that you in no person ever had a more disinterest- the north are well aware that his Maed love of truth. Voltaire, in his youth, jesty's liege subjects, in this part of had been well drilled amidst the ca- the empire, did, for a long space of bals of Paris, and therefore understood time now past, grievously complain better how to gain credit among his that the atmosphere was warm, sultry, contemporaries.
hot, close, oppressive, intolerable, and killing; and that although the same could not but be well known to cera tain persons holding certain high situations, yet that no remedy whatever
was in this case provided. Carrying MR EDITOR,
the charge no farther, we may at least Being very desirous of becoming ac- aver, that most culpable negligence is quainted with you, for reasons which chargeable somewhere. How far, inthe fear of being suspected of flattery, deed, those whom we are entitled, or, reluctance to offend your modesty, which is the same thing, accustomed, &c. &c. prevent me from offering - I to charge with all the evils which beshall take the opportunity of a sober fal the nation, may have even contria overcast day to make my overtures. buted, (as some, who shall be nameless, Allow me to begin after the orthodox have ventured to surmise,) to our sufmanner of my countrymen,--this is ferings, is a matter of much graver fine cool weather, Mr Editor ;--this and weightier import. For the preis pleasanter than the great heat of sent, I will only hint, that the confilast summer. You will cease to smile dence with which the temperature of at the salutation, when you learn in the late season was predicted by one what hazard the interests of this Ma- gentleman in office; the visit of the gazine have been put by the state of Esquimaux to this island, where he the late season. Know then, it is met with the greatest attention from wholly owing to this cause that I have individuals of distinction ; the
appearnot hitherto attempted to approach ance in London of an American chief that coifed wizard with the thistle and suite, in the suspicious character wreath encircled, whose effigy oft hath of players; the fitting out, at an imfixed and low abashed mine eye, and mense expense, of ships of war, desto tender him the produce of my pen, tined to the north for the ostensible though I have felt a wondrous longing purpose of discovery; and the partiso to do any time these three months. cular communications which appear to Leaden languor sat upon the wings of have been kept up between the Admy imagination. It was with me, miralty and the Greenland whalers, during the whole summer, an every- (not to mention the unusual number day history of suction and evaporation of ice-poles which those vessels have -nothing else. The heat of the been known to carry of late)-are facts weather, in fact, I felt, I thought of, which cannot have escaped the sagaand, when I could slumber, dreamt city of your readers. The politicians, of. It entered into all my percep- to whom I allude, scruple not to astions, and regulated, in a great mea- sert, mistakenly I hope, that his Mac sure, all my functions, corporal and jesty's government has formed an almental ; disposing me to light diet, liance with the Esquimaux and Coplight reading, light clothing, light per Indians on the one side, and with sleep, and, I had almost said, light the Samoieds and Tchukotskoi on the thoughts. No sublime flights-no Asiatic margin of the polar basin ; profound reflections--the deuce a bit. that these nations, in furtherance of A fortunate succession of showers has the objects of the treaty, have, by a gradually restored me so far, as to en. powerful contemporaneous direction able me to set about a whole book! of their 'physical force,' (as a great orator of modern times has it) project- some one of the columns of your Maed the huge cake of ice, which had gazine usually devoted to critical anaa fastened itself to the shores of Green- lysis. land, into the Atlantic Ocean ; that We have heard so much of the efthe whale-fishers were engaged to co- fects of the season upon turnips and operate, with the aid of gunpowder or cabbages, that I shall not meddle with steam, in this movement; and that any thing so low and trite. What I the vessels of war were fraught with purpose laying before the public are, subsidies, and are instructed to con- - 1st, An account of the number of cert ulterior measures. Now it was quarts of soda water and ginger beer long ago foreseen, that such an opera- taken off during the late season, with 'tion, if it could be brought about, a statement of its excess in amount, would increase prodigiously
the degree over and above the average consumption of heat in this country; and we all for the three preceding summers; an know that the quality of every nation- aerostatic computation of the cubic al constitution depends almost exclu- feet of fixed air disengaged, and an sively upon climate, the genius of lib- inquiry into its necessary effects upon erty being utterly incapable to reside the atmosphere. From which data, I or breathe in any country where the doubt not to shew that an augmentathermometer ordinarily stands above a tion of heat was created to the extent certain point. What better plan, of at least one degree Fahrenheit. In then, could be devised to extinguish this calculation I shall have the the last spark of freedom in this once friendly assistance of a gentleman conhappy' land, and to prepare our minds nected with the Edinburgh Review, and bodies for absolute slavery, than whose profound skill in mathematics to spread over this island the climate has enabled him to expose many comof Spain ? or Otaheite? of Constantin monly received errors which have crept nople? or China ? or Terra Australis ? into that science. When I mention, that or of the Terra del Fuego?-May such we owe to this gentleman's article on a scheme be finally defeated ! May the Pauperism Report in the number the clouds of to-day be the harbingers for February last, our present knowof a biting winter and a soaking spring! ledge of the fact that the proportion -I am becoming warm, Mr Editor of 900,000 to 10,000,000 is as 9 to 10, a sensation I am weary of—a truce for the public will know how to appreciate a moment to politics, and now to my the accuracy of the arithmetical reprincipal object in addressing you at sults to be found in my intended treathe present moment, and to which, I tise. 2dly, An account of all the fares trust, the remarks I have already made received during the present season by will be considered an appropriate pre- watermen and hackney-coachmen reslude.
pectively, shewing the just balance of In a word then, it is my intention-profit to the former, and of loss to the (excuse me if I feel a kind of delicate latter; with a view of probable conseembarrassment in making this commu- quences. 3dly, A statement of the nication)-it is my intention, I say, to Sunday receipts at the Cumberland, come out in the course of the winter in Flora, and other tea-gardens, Kilburne two handsome quartos, with a view, Wells, Mother Redcaps, the Elephant statistical, philosophical, and economic and Castle, and other houses of the cal, of the pernicious effects of the hot stones, to be compared with those of summer of 1818 upon domestic trade, the Metropolitan Republicans. 4thly, commerce, and the different ranks of Ditto, ditto, number of pounds of ice society in London ; and an ingenious consumed at all the confectioners, and feasible project for the prevention fish - mongers, and tavern - keepers of all those evils which may be expect throughout the bills of mortality; with ed to flow from the recurrence of e- a dissertation on the physical propere qually high degrees of temperature. ties of currant and pine-apple ices. I request leave, through the medium In short, I should tire you (if i have of your invaluable Miscellany, to put not done so already) with all the dethe public in possession of the heads tails of my embryo volumes. Suffice and ends of my intended treatise ; not it to say, that they will contain the doubting, at the same time, that when precise increase during the summer of the work itself shall appear, you will the number of street minstrels; a crifind it worthy of favourable notice in tical discourse on the individual pro
fessions of that art; schedules of the of that universal agent of our times, Sabbath tolls at Hyde Park corner, Marshgate, Whitechapel, and Tyburn The personal of the establishments turnpikes ; tables for ascertaining, up- to be under the joint direction of the on the new principle, the depth in the founder of the new musical school, earth at which the state of atmospheric and the material under that of Mr D. temperature, for any given distance of E. of Knightsbridge, whose flying fish timepast, may be dug out;-in the year, is to be put in requisition, for the when Henry VIII. retired to a monas- purpose of keeping up a communicatery, for instance ;-and many other tion between the several boilers. particulars too numerous to mention. The money required to be borrowed From the whole body of evidence thus from the trustees of Drury Lane Thecollected, I shall draw irrefragable in- atre, and the proprietors of Waterloo ferences, and acute prognostications, Bridge, who have kindly promised which will be to the full as surprising, your humble servant to advance it out just, and satisfactory, as half the poli- of the profits they have realised, and tical speculations and prophecies which to be secured by a capitation-tax, have been delivered by a certain class from which all brewers, members of of augurs for many years past. But gas and water-work companies, soap as details are not worth a fig, unless and sugar boilers are to be exempt, they furnish a sage and profound provided that their manufactories are theory, I shall touch upon a few gene- situated to the east of the metropolis. ral principles
A proportionate allowance to be made Whatever, by the process of inter- to all melting chandlers, masters of nal traffic, is gained to one class of steam-boats, and publicans, who perpersons, is ultimately subtracted from mit the use of tobacco in their houses. another, and a corresponding degree The author pledges himself not to of political influence passes with the require more" (as his compensation) profit; for wealth is
power. It is easy than 20 per cent. upon the capital to see what great political changes stock; and if this plan be approved of may be wrought, when power has thus by the public (as he doubts not it shifted its channels, and how much will) he will be the first fortunate strength may be given to a govern- projector whose schemes ended in inent, by any contrivance which shall smoke.
L. M. U. B. transfer a large portion of national wealth from those of whom it feels jealous, to others whom it is interested in favouring; and it will be my business to shew hereafter what reprehensible motives have given birth to that conniving negligence, or those more re- To determine the specific characters prehensible schemes to which we owe and local manners of animals is not the the late alarming innovations in our task either of the poet or the novelist; climate-innovations which have sa- yet no doubt the pleasure derived from crificed the interests of the truly Bri- works of imagination may much tish chop-house to those of the fa- lessened in the minds of many by means shionable and frenchified confectioner, of incongruous associations. and by which the blunt hackney cha- Thus, in the Lady of the Lake, the rioteer has been made to succumb to solitude and desolation of an ancient the trimming time-and-tide-serving field of battle is described as follows: wherryman. Awake to these consi
“ The knot-grass fettered there the hand, derations, I have turned my thoughts
Which once could burst an iron band; to the discovery of some barrier against Beneath the broad and ample bone these frightful inroads, feeling assured, That bucklered heart to fear unknown, that such a discovery would meet the A feeble and a timorous guest, cordial approbation of our constitution- The field-fare framed her lowly nest.” al representatives. With what success, let the public judge, when they Now it is well known to every shall see in my work (the price of school-boy, that the field-fare only viwhich will be unusually moderate), sits this country during the winter the particulars of my scheme for the season, that it has never been known creation of artificial clouds, by means to breed in the island, and consequente VOL. IV.
INACCURACIES OF POETS IN NATURAL