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Mr.

requests the honour of taking wined with her; she hesitates between Port and Madeira, and chooses the former — because he does.? She calls the servant Sir; and insists on not troubling him to3 hold her plate. The housekeeper patronizes her. The children's governess takes upon hero to correct her when she has mistaken5 the piano for a harpsichord.

CHARLES LAMB, “ Elia.

PASCAL.

The “Thoughts” of Pascal* are to be ranked 6 as a monument of his genius above the “Provincial Letters,” though some have asserted the contrary. They burn with an intense light; condensed in expression, sublime, energetic, rapid—they hurry away? the reader till he is scarcely able or willing to distinguish the sophisms from the truth they contain. For that many of them are incapable of bearing a calm scrutiny, is very manifest to those who apply such a test. The notes of Voltaire,t though always intended to detract, 10 are sometimes unanswerable ; 11 but the splendour of Pascal's eloquence absolutely

1 Wine, un verre de vin_2 does, fait de même_3 and insists on not troubling him to, et ne veut pas qu'il se donne la peine de takes upon her, s'avise5 mistaken, pris.

6 Are to be ranked, doivent être placées— they hurry away, elles emportent—8 till he is scarcely able or willing, au point de lui ôter presqne entièrement la faculté ou même le désir– for that, etc...... such a test, car pour quiconque les soumet à un calme examen il est évident que beaucoup d'entre elles n'en peuvent soutenir l'épreuve _10 though always intended to detract, bien que toujours dictées par un esprit de dénigrement—11 unanswerable, sans réplique.

* See the Biographical notice in the Appendix. + See the Biographical notice in the Appendix.

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annihilates, in effect on the general reader, even this antagonist.

Pascal had probably not read very largely, which has given an ampler sweep? to his genius. Except the Bible and the writings of Augustine, the book that seems most to have attracted him was the Essays of Montaigne.* Yet no men could be more unlike in personal dispositions and in the cast of their intellect. But Pascal, though abhorring the religious and moral carelessness of Montaigne, found much that fell in with his own reflections, in the contempt of human opinions, the perpetual humbling of human reason, which runs through the bold and original work of his predecessor. He quotes no book so frequently ; and indeed, except Epictetus, and once or twice Descartes,t he hardly quotes any other at all. Pascal was too acute a geometer, and too sincere a lover of truth, to countenance the sophisms of mere Pyrrhonism; but, like many theological writers, in exalting faith, he does not always give reason her value, and furnishes weapons which the sceptic might employ against himself. ....

But the leading? principle of Pascal's theology, that from which he deduces the necessary truth of revelation, is the fallen nature of mankind; dwelling less upon scriptural proofs, which he takes for granted, than on the evidence which he supposes

runs

1 In effect, dans son effet—an ampler sweep, un plus libre essor3 no men could be, deux hommes ne sauraient être— found much that fell in with, trouva beaucoup de points de ressemblance avec —5 through, pénètre d'un bout à l'autre—6 he hardly quotes any other at all, il en cite à peine aucun autre–7 leading, dominant—8 dwelling, s'appuyant_9 which he takes for granted, qu'il tient pour avérées.

* See the Biographical notice in the Appendix. + See the Biographical notice in the Appendix.

a

man himself to supply. Nothing, however, can be more dissimilar than his beautiful visions to the vulgar Calvinism of the pulpit. It is not the sordid, grovelling, degraded Caliban of that school, but the ruined archangel that he delights to paint. Man is so great that his greatness is manifest even in the knowledge of his own misery. A tree does not know itself to bel “miserable." It is true, that to know

' we are miserable is misery; but still it is greatness

3 to know it. All his misery proves his greatness; it is the misery of a great lord, of a king, dispossessed of their own. Man is the feeblest branch of nature, but it is a branch that thinks. He requires not the universe to3 crush him. He may be killed by a vapour, by a drop of water. But if the whole universe should crush him, he would be nobler than that which causes 5 his death, because he knows that he is dying, and the universe would not know its power over him. This is very evidently sophistical and declamatory; but it is the sophistry of a fine imagination. It would be easy, however, to find better passages; the dominant idea recurs in almost every page of Pascal. His melancholy genius plays in wild and rapid flashes, 10 like lightning round the scathed oak, about the fallen greatness of man. He perceives every characteristic quality of his nature under these conditions. They are the solution of every problem; the clearing up of every inconsistency that perplexes

1 Does not know itself to be, ne se sait pas—of their own, de leur domaine—3 he requires not the universe to, il n'y a pas besoin de l'univers pour—+ should crush him, devait l'écraser 5 causes, causerait

_ he knows that he is dying, il saurait qu'il va mourir— and, tandis que—8 would not know, n'aurait pas conscience de— recurs in almost, se reproduit presque à _10 plays in wild and rapid flashes, se joue en traits fantasques et rapides.

us.

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"6

“Man,” he says very finely, “has a secret instinct that leads him to seek diversion and employment from without ;? which springs from the sense of his continual misery. And he has another secret instinct, remaining from the greatness of his original nature, which teaches him that happiness can only exist in repose. And from these two contrary instincts there arises in him an obscure propensity," concealed in his soul, which prompts him to seek repose through agitation, and even to fancy that the contentment he does not enjoy will be found, if, by struggling yet a little longer, he can open a door to rest.”6 It can hardly be conceived that any one

” would think the worse of human nature or of himself, by reading these magnificent lamentations of Pascal. He adorns and ennobles the degeneracy he exaggerates. The ruined aqueduct, the broken column, the desolated city, suggests no ideas buts of dignity and reverence. No one is ashamed of a misery which bears witness to his grandeur. If we should persuade a labourer that the blood of princes flowed in his veins, we might spoil his contentment with 10 the only lot he had known, but scarcely kill in him the seeds of pride.

HENRY HALLAM, History of Literature," etc.

1 Very finely, dans un fort beau langage_2 diversion and employment from without, le divertissement et l'occupation au dehors—3 springs, provient-4 remaining from, débris de5 there arises in him an obscure propensity, il se forme en lui un projet confus—6 he can open a door to rest, il peut s'ouvrir par là la porte au reposit can hardly, etc. ......the worse, on a peine à se figurer que quelqu'un puisse avoir une moins haute idée_8

......no ideas but, ne..... que des idées— flowed, coule_10 his contentment with, le contentement que lui donne_11 had, aurait.

THE JESUITS.

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With what vehemence, with what policy, with what exact discipline, with what dauntless courage, with what self-denial, with what forgetfulness of the dearest private ties, with what intense and stubborn devotion to a single end, with what unscrupulous laxity and versatility in the choice of means, the Jesuits fought the battle of? their church, is written in every page of the annals of Europe during several generations. In the Order of Jesus was concentrated the quintessence of the Catholic spirit; and the history of the Order of Jesus is the history of the great Catholic reaction. That Order possessed itself at once of all the strongholds which command the public mind—of the pulpit, of the press, of the con

fessional, of the academies. Wherever the Jesuit preached, the church was too small for the audience. The name of Jesuit on a title-page secured the

a circulation of a book. It was in the ears of the Jesuit that the powerful, the noble, and the beautiful breathed the secret history of their lives. It was at the feet of the Jesuit that the youth of the higher and middle classes) were bronght up, from the first rudiments to the courses of rhetoric and philosophy. Literature and science, lately associated with infidelity or with heresy, now became the allies of orthodoxy. Dominant in the south of Europe, the great Order soon went forth, conquering and to conquer.

1

Policy, adresse— fought the battle of, soutinrent la cause de—3 is written in, c'est écrit å- breathed, révélaient à voix basse —5 of the higher and middle classes, de la haute classe et de la classe moyenne

800n went forth, conquering and to conquer, marcha bientôt triomphant à de nouvelles conquêtes.

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