Voltaire
by Thomas S. Vernon
chapter v. from his 1989 book
Great Infidels

"Jesus wept, and Voltaire smiled; and it is from this divine tear and this human smile that the glory of modern civilization is compounded."
-- Victor Hugo

N NOVEMBER 1, 1755, Lisbon, the capitol of Portugal, was virtually destroyed by a terrible earthquake that resulted in the deaths of many thousands of people. In statistical terms this event is by no means at the top of the list of the world's great disasters, but it made a lasting impression on the minds of literate people. Many of us today know about the Lisbon earthquake who never heard of the more destructive events that have occurred both before and since in various parts of the civilized world. What made the Lisbon earthquake so memorable? No doubt mainly the fact that it was thought about and written about by one man, François Marie Arouet de Voltaire. The tragedy made a life-changing impression on the mind of this man, not only because of the immeasurable human suffering involved, but also because of its religious significance.

When news of the tragedy reached Voltaire he wrote to a friend as follows:

One would have great difficulty in divining how the laws of movement operate such frightful disasters in the best of all possible worlds.... What will the preachers say, especially if the palace of the Inquisition has been left standing? I flatter myself that the reverend father inquisitors will have been crushed like the others. That should teach men not to persecute men.

The italicized phrase is a reference to Gottfried Leibniz, the German philosopher who, in 1710, had published a work explaining that the evil and suffering we witness are necessary features of a world which otherwise would not be as perfect as it is. This was a popular view among philosophers and theologians of the time: our limited minds cannot grasp reality as it is perceived by an infinite, benevolent, and all-powerful God who, out of an infinite number of possible worlds, has created the best that could be. This is one way of dealing with what is known in the history of thought as the problem of evil: why do evil and suffering abound in a world created by a beneficent and all-powerful Creator? The answer, according to Leibniz and others is that we would realize that everything is really for the best, could we but see things from God's point of view. To Voltaire such a resolution of the problem had long seemed insupportable, and the Lisbon earthquake appeared to attack and demolish once and for all a philosophy that insulted human dignity and intelligence. The view promulgated by Leibniz and others is often characterized as "optimism." Theodore Besterman reminds us that "in this context optimism has nothing to do with one's outlook on life; it is the belief that all that is and happens is for the best." Indeed to some thinkers, including Voltaire, the Leibnizian view makes for the deepest sort of pessimism, for if we were obliged to believe that the conditions of human life we see about us are the best that is possible -- even under the management of an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God then we have good reason to be discouraged, not only about this life but about the life to come as well.

Shortly after the letter just quoted, Voltaire composed the lengthy Poème sur le désastre de Lisbonne. In this he passionately exclaims:

What! Would the entire universe have been worse without this hellish abyss, without swallowing up Lisbon? Are you sure that the eternal cause that makes all, knows all, created all, could not plunge us into this wretched world without placing flaming volcanoes beneath our feet? Would you forbid it to show mercy?

In the same poem Voltaire asks: "Was she more vicious than London, than Paris, plunged in pleasures? Lisbon is shattered, and Paris dances." The poem was widely disseminated and read. Besterman remarks: "Men were stirred not so much by the disaster itself as the event seen through the sensibility of a great man. Once again a poet had become the legislator of mankind."

Yet John Wesley, the Methodist patron saint, did not hesitate to attribute the Lisbon tragedy to "sin," to "that curse that was brought upon the earth by the original transgression of Adam and Eve." This should not surprise us, as Wesley was also an enthusiastic supporter of witch burning. Christian opinion of the question of free will has long been divided, but there is substantial unanimity in claiming the right to exercise free will in the matter of logic! Voltaire had also read a poem by Alexander Pope in which Pope proclaimed, "Whatever is is right"!

Some Christian apologists have tried to explain away the problem of evil by saying that what the infinite mind of God perceives as reasonable and just may not appear so to our finite intelligence. In his Philosophical Dictionary Voltaire makes short work of this kind of pettifogging sophistry:

The silly fanatic repeats to me ... that it is not for us to judge what is reasonable and just in the great Being, that His reason is not like our reason, that His justice is not like our justice. Eh! how, you mad demoniac, do you want me to judge justice and reason otherwise than by the notions I have of them? Do you want me to walk otherwise than with my feet, and to speak otherwise than with my mouth?

Four years after writing the Lisbon poem Voltaire published what is regarded by many as his most enduring masterpiece, Candide. Candide, the hero of this satirical tale, and who is described by the author as extremely simple-minded, adopts the philosophy of his tutor, Dr. Pangloss, who is a burlesque melange of Leibniz, Pope, and Rousseau. Candide witnesses and experiences one horrendous calamity after another. In each case Dr. Pangloss assures him that in spite of appearances everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. The Lisbon earthquake is one of these calamities, and we are told:

After the earthquake which destroyed three-quarters of Lisbon, the wise men of that country could discover no more efficacious way of preventing a total ruin than by giving the people a splendid auto-da-fe. It was decided by the university of Coimbre that the sight of several persons being slowly burned in great ceremony is an infallible secret for preventing earthquakes.

As we all know, human life is beset not only by the evils inflicted by nature but by the even more terrible suffering that humans inflict on one another. War is perhaps the greatest decimator of the population, and none of these have been more savage than the wars inspired by religion. Add to this the horrors of religious persecution, which include such mass slaughters as the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day in 1592 when over 2,000 Huguenots were butchered in Paris (Besterman notes that "Voltaire felt the crime so keenly and intimately that throughout his life he had a temperature on St. Bartholomew's Day.") Just as haunting are the numberless atrocities perpetrated in the name of religion on individuals and families, as by the Spanish Inquisition.

In the article entitled "Religion" in his Philosophical Dictionary Voltaire describes a vision in which he beholds a vast plain covered with huge piles of human bones which he learns are the remains of the innumerable victims of religious persecution. His guide explains that they are seeing

the bones of Christians slaughtered by each other for metaphysical disputes. They are divided into several heaps of four centuries each. One heap would have mounted right to the sky; they had to be divided. "What!" I cried, "brothers have treated their brothers like this, and I have the misfortune to be of this brotherhood!"

How has it been possible for a religion based on the themes of peace and goodwill and love to have inspired such merciless ferocity in the hearts of human beings? Many religious people have been and are gentle and benevolent persons of a sort the world needs more of. On the other hand many nonreligious persons are members of the same select minority, while others, as in the case of Joseph Stalin, rank among the diseased specimens. It may be that a religious fixation provides for some an outlet for hostilities that have a deeper psychological root. Thus a Torquemada, or a Luther, or a Calvin, or a Wesley may have projected their hostilities and perceived them as attributes of their gods. In the case of the multitudes of people for whom life has been harsh and unfulfilling, this is at least understandable. Many such unfortunates are only too willing to witness, enjoy, and even participate in, the torment of fellow creatures if some accepted authority assures them that the victims are only getting their just deserts. Perhaps the greater mystery is that there are some human beings who, while bearing their share of life's miseries and deprivations, nevertheless do not rejoice in the sufferings of others, even when they are told that they should.

If such a person happens also to possess a powerful intellect and the qualities of genius, then we have an individual who belongs to a very select company indeed. Most of those to whose names historians have appended "the Great" -- Alexander, Caesar, Frederick, Napoleon, et al. -- are not in this company, for while they possessed genius, they were lacking in human compassion. Among the few who possessed genius and compassion is Voltaire.

One of the things that I find attractive about Voltaire is that he was not a saint in any conventional sense of the word; his character contained an element of rascality. If it had not, he might not have survived in the world into which he was born. He was born in Paris on November 21, 1694. His official name at birth was François-Marie Arouet. His father was well-to-do, a member of the upper middle class. He scarcely knew his mother, who died when he was seven. He had a sister and a brother, both older than he. His biographers, of whom there are many, have been able to obtain very little information about his early childhood. There is even some uncertainty about the legitimacy of his birth, but no evidence that his father had any such doubts. We do know that François-Marie was the ugly duckling of the family and a source of great exasperation to them.

At the age of ten he was sent to a prestigious school, Louis-le-Grand at the age of seventeen, it was with a burning desire to distinguish himself in the world of letters.

He naturally gravitated to the society of the leading nonconformist intellectuals of Paris. This shocked his highly respectable father, who packed the nineteen year old youth off to the city of Caen, but his character apparently not being sufficiently improved there, he was sent to to Holland. Besterman writes that "at this time the Netherlands were overrun by Frenchmen who had escaped from religious and other persecutions at home," and it was among these émigrés that François found his most congenial associates. He continued to be a disappointment to his father until the latter's death in 1722. This was the first but not the last of François' experiences as an exile. It was in Holland also that he fell in love with a young Frenchwoman whose mother disapproved of the match. With the cooperation of the French ambassador, an elopement was nipped in the bud and François was sent back to Paris. His angry father obtained a lettre de cachet for his son's arrest and exile to the West Indies. Such documents were commonly used at this time to effect the arrest and imprisonment or exile of persons whom some judicial authority regarded as offensive. They could be issued with no trial or hearing and with no specified charge. Getting wind of his father's intention, François went into hiding and sent his father a letter begging his forgiveness and promising to change his ways. His father relented but on the condition that François study for the law.

As a law student François nevertheless found time to develop his talent as a writer, and managed to keep company with his undesirable friends. His gift for biting satire got him into trouble on more than one occasion, yet, under the temporarily tolerant regime of Philippe of Orleans, trouble not too serious. Besterman writes: "In the eighteenth century, as under Edward VII, appearance was all; one could get away with almost anything as long as one was not caught, or if caught, swore solemnly that 'it wasn't me.'" The it-wasn't-me strategy was used frequently by Voltaire, who stoutly denied authorship of writings that created a furor. He was further protected by the fact that his poetry and dramas were already, in his early twenties, earning him a wide reputation as a man of genius. He was nevertheless imprisoned in the Bastille for eleven months in 1717.

He was able to continue his writing in prison. It was also at this time that he began to sign his letters, Arouet de Voltaire. It is apparently not known why he selected the name Voltaire, though Besterman maintains that a nom de plume was needed "for the same reason that Poquelin became Molière. Had the name of the world's greatest poet been Wigglestick, who could have blamed him for changing it to Shakespeare?" We may conjecture also that the change of name was yet another act of rebellion against his father.

In 1718 Voltaire's first major work, Oedipe, a tragic drama, was produced in Paris. Its remarkable triumph secured its author's place as the leading dramatist and poet of France. By the time he was thirty-one, Voltaire had acquired fame and fortune. This happy state of affairs was, however, ended abruptly and cruelly. Voltaire engaged in an exchange of insults with a French nobleman named Rohan. Besterman describes what followed:

Voltaire was dining with the duc de Sully, [in the] rue Saint-Antoine, was called to the front door, and was there beaten by the servants of Rohan, who directed the operations from his carriage. When Voltaire rushed upstairs in a rage, the duke shrugged his shoulders: after all, Rohan was a kinsman, Voltaire merely a bourgeois friend of genius. And when Voltaire's subsequent action (including a stay with a fencing master) made it clear that he would pursue the chevalier until he could bring him to a duel, the Rohan family had the poet thrown into the Bastille.

This was in 1726. In a letter to the authorities Voltaire wrote: "I would point out very humbly that I was assaulted by the brave chevalier de Rohan, helped by six cut-throats behind whom he had courageously posted himself. Since then I have constantly sought to restore not my honor, but his, which has proved too difficult."

Voltaire proposed to the authorities that he be released from the Bastille on the condition that he take up residence in England. Since the case had become an embarrassing cause célèbre, permission was willingly given. He arrived in England in May, 1726. There he was able to meet a number of leading literary personages, thanks in part to the good offices of Lord Bolingbroke, with whom he had already been friends for some years. Voltaire was braced by the degree of religious toleration -- compared with France -- which he found there. It was still far from tolerant by present-day standards. Besterman notes that, in 1720, a teen-aged printer's apprentice was hanged for printing a Jacobite pamphlet. (The Jacobites were a politico-religious sect regarded by the government as seditious.) For the most part, however, Voltaire lived a retired life while he was in England, and concentrated on his writing.

His observations in England, combined with the bitter memory of the Rohan affair, convinced him that only wealth could bring him independence. He turned his attention to this matter, therefore, when he returned to France in 1729. He set himself to become a shrewd man of business and, starting with a modest inheritance from his father, he succeeded so well that within a year he had made a sizeable fortune and could concentrate again on his literary career. He maintained his financial acumen for the rest of his life, and when he died, he was one of the wealthiest private citizens in France. It has been pointed out that his ethical standards during this acquisitive period of his life were not always of the highest, yet, in contrast to those who make the pursuit of wealth their chief aim in life, it was for Voltaire a means rather than an end. His end was not only to achieve for himself a degree of invulnerability in a harsh world, but also to be in a position to ameliorate that harshness for others.

Voltaire never married. Instead, he had a succession of mistresses, a not uncommon practice in his day. So far as I have been able to learn, he never fathered a child. Though he lived into his eighties, his health was always precarious; he seems to have been an invalid during much of his life. Nevertheless his intellectual vigor was maintained to an astonishing degree, and it may have been mainly this that attracted women to him, for the women with whom he cohabited were also women of intellect. In 1733 he met Gabrielle Emilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, marquise Du Châtelet. Not long after they had become lovers, Voltaire was again in trouble with the authorities (his Philosophical Letters had incurred royal displeasure) and was obliged to flee. In 1736 he was able to find a haven at Cirey in a chateau belonging to Emilie. It was situated near a border so that escape was easy if it became necessary. Here the couple lived for the remaining fifteen years of Emilie's life. Both a library and a laboratory were installed at Cirey so that they could both pursue their literary and scientific interests. (Voltaire studied the works of Newton, whom he greatly admired, and made them available to French intellectuals through his Elements of the Philosophy of Newton.) There was also a small theater where plays -- mostly Voltaire's -- were performed. This was a richly productive period of Voltaire's life.

One of Voltaire's admirers was Frederick, the Crown Prince of Prussia, who, in 1736, at the age of twenty-four, wrote Voltaire a "fan letter." This was the beginning of a friendship which, on an on-and-off basis, lasted throughout Voltaire's lifetime; it was an ambivalent and sometimes stormy relationship. Frederick was himself a man of wide-ranging intellectual interests, and the two had a great deal in common. In 1749 Emilie, becoming pregnant by another lover, died in childbirth. Her death was a severe blow to Voltaire, and he welcomed an invitation from Frederick, now Frederick II, to spend some time in Berlin in 1750. The next three years, often pleasant, were described by Haydn Mason:

A daily round is established. An hour is given by Voltaire to improving Frederick's writings. The rest of the day is his own, ending up with a delicious supper ... in the company of a man full of wit and imagination and a very select company of special favorites.... Voltaire has perfect conditions for work, an asylum from persecution, and the most agreeable society in the evenings.

One of Voltaire's best known works, the Philosophical Dictionary, was, Mason writes, "probably the product of a supper-time conversation at Frederick's table in 1752."

In 1753 Voltaire and Frederick had a falling out, and Voltaire settled for a few years in Geneva, during which time he was one of the collaborators with Diderot in the preparation of the monumental Encyclopédie. Voltaire's sojourn in Geneva was clouded by a stifling atmosphere of religious conservatism and by the enmity of the neurotic Rousseau. It was during his stay in Geneva that the Lisbon earthquake occurred, causing Voltaire to become deeply concerned over the problem of evil. In that same year (1755), he wrote also in a letter: "I pity the Portuguese, like you, but men do still more harm to each other on their little molehill than nature does to them. Our wars massacre more men than are swallowed up by earthquakes." It was the horrors that humans inflict on one another that occupied his mind increasingly as the years passed. Such food for thought was provided in abundance in 18th century Europe.

In 1759 Voltaire left Geneva for Ferney, just outside of Geneva on the French side of the border between France and Switzerland -- another location from which he could quickly flee if it became necessary. Here he purchased, not only a residence, but considerable surrounding land, so that he became the seigneur of a small principality. It was here, according to Mason, that the high tide of his career as a writer was reached. This is a remarkable statement in view of what Voltaire had already accomplished. It was while he lived at Ferney that Voltaire fell in love with his sister's daughter, Mme. Denis. She became his mistress and reigned as the chatelaine of Ferney until his death in 1778. Andre Maurois wrote: "For twenty years Ferney discharged over Europe a hail of pamphlets printed under scores of names, forbidden, confiscated, disowned, denied, but hawked and read, admired, and digested by all the thinking heads of that time."

The novel, Candide, is the work that most people think of when Voltaire's name is mentioned. Candide was written just before its author settled in Ferney, and was published in 1759. A modern reader may wonder if the fantastic incidents which fill the narrative are not fanciful exaggerations or even inventions. In fact, they are based on actual conditions and events. In the passage quoted earlier about the auto-da-fe, bear in mind that such an event actually occurred in Lisbon on June 20, 1756, less than seven months after the earthquake. The Inquisition did employ "familiars," i.e., spies who sought to trap people into making remarks that could be construed as heretical. "Penitents" did wear robes on which flames were painted pointing upward or downward, according to whether they had been absolved or found guilty.

Voltaire's hope that the Lisbon disaster would "teach men not to persecute men" was, unfortunately, short-lived. Not long after settling at Ferney, Voltaire became involved in the Calas affair. Jean Calas was a drygoods merchant in Toulouse. He was also a Huguenot, which is the term applied to French followers of Calvin. One of his sons committed suicide and the Calas family was accused of having murdered him to prevent his being converted to Catholicism. Such was the religious fanaticism of the predominantly Catholic community that Calas was found guilty and put to death in as horrible a way as the authorities could devise. The rest of the family were forced into exile, after all their property had been confiscated. By the time Voltaire heard of the case it was too late to help Calas, but he set himself to clear Calas' name and rehabilitate the family. He wrote letters to authorities and issued a flood of pamphlets. After three years of intense activity he succeeded in getting the guilty judgment reversed by a higher court and clearing the family's name. It was a remarkable personal triumph for Voltaire and increased his already enormous popularity among his countrymen -- thought not, of course, among the leaders of the religious establishment. This was the first of a number of such injustices that Voltaire sought to rectify, and it marks also the beginning of a campaign against institutional Christianity that he waged throughout the rest of his life. His numerous letters and pamphlets thereafter concluded with the words, Ecrasez l'infâme! (Crush the infamy!), and by "the infamy" he meant Christianity. He came to regard Christianity as organized superstition and a major cause of cruelty and persecution; in the light of the history of the Church up to and including his time, this is not surprising. In a letter to a friend commenting on the Calas affair, Voltaire quotes Lucretius: Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum (That is the kind of monstrous deed that religion can produce!). Besterman points out an interesting contrast between Voltaire and Rousseau: "When Voltaire was asked to do something for the persecuted Protestants, he nearly always responded, often successfully, even though he disapproved of their practice; when similar requests came to Rousseau, he coldly declined, although he was himself a Protestant."

Was Voltaire an atheist? He has generally been regarded, along with Newton, Jefferson, Paine, and others as a Deist, a believer in a rational, non-Christian god. Besterman, who is perhaps Voltaire's most able biographer, concludes "that Voltaire was at most an agnostic; and were any tough-minded philosopher to maintain that this type of agnosticism is indistinguishable from atheism, I would not be prepared to contradict him." Besterman also finds the word Deism troublesomely ambiguous, especially in our present times of semantic confusion when "wars are waged under the banner of peace, tyrannies label themselves democracies; and socialism in becoming national somehow turns into fascism.... Meaning must not be taken for granted."

Whatever uncertainty there may be as to whether Voltaire was a deist or an atheist, Paul Edwards writes: "what is certain is that he opposed Christianity throughout his adult life and came to regard it as a major aberration of the human mind, as well as a terrible disaster for the human race." And Alfred W. Benn remarks: "If [Voltaire] did not succeed in destroying Christianity, he did more towards turning it into a religion of humanity than any other man has ever done or can ever hope to do."

Voltaire did believe, apparently, that some sort of religious belief among the populace was necessary for maintaining public order, but a rational, simple faith in God emphasizing mutual tolerance and love among humans, not the hate-engendering superstitions of Christianity. The view that the common run of humankind need the guiding and inhibiting influence of a religion can, of course, be traced back to classical times and has been capsulated in the phrase, "Philosophy for the classes, religion for the masses." It seems likely that such a sentiment is what prompted Voltaire's often-quoted remark, "If God did not exist, he would have to be invented." Such an advocacy of religion as a matter of expediency, Besterman points out, "has nothing to do with philosophy and theology: it belongs in the domain of political science."

Such natural disasters as the Lisbon earthquake, coupled with the still greater horrors of war and religious persecution were for Voltaire overwhelming evidence that we do not live in the best of all possible worlds. What, then, is the best course for an intelligent and humane person to follow? Voltaire put his answer in the mouth of Candide who, at the end of the story, remarks, "We must cultivate our gardens." This encapsulates the philosophy of life that Voltaire adopted: let us do what we can to make our part of the world better. He practiced this philosophy. From Ferney he carried on a vigorous struggle against intolerance and persecution.

On a smaller scale, Voltaire cultivated his garden at Ferney. When he purchased Ferney he assumed responsibility for the lives of the peasants who inhabited this domain. He set himself the task of transforming an economically depressed area into a thriving community. He repaired roads, built houses, imported artisans, and introduced improved agricultural technology. Over a period of twenty years he transformed the area. The inhabitants were so grateful to him that they renamed their township Ferney-Voltaire. If other landowners in France had been willing to follow Voltaire's example, it seems likely that the French revolution could never have occurred.

With the accession of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette in 1774, it became safer for Voltaire to visit Paris, and he did so in February of that year. He received an enthusiastic welcome -- from all but the court and the church. Mason reports that people flocked to see him. Benjamin Franklin was among his visitors. It was a strenuous time for the eighty year old man. In addition to receiving hosts of visitors he was working day and night putting finishing touches on his play, Irene, which was about to be performed. Illness prevented his attending the opening performance, but when he finally did appear, according to Mason, "he was received at the theater with tumultuous acclamation. A band ... added to the air of festivity. An actor brought him a laurel crown." Voltaire was also enthusiastically honored by the French academy. His health became too poor to allow his return to Ferney, and he took up residence at a house he had purchased in Paris. His condition gradually worsened, and he died on May 30, 1778.

In Voltaire's time, anyone who died outside the Church could not be buried in consecrated ground, and their remains were disposed of as refuse. To prevent this, Voltaire made a last-minute confession of faith to a priest. This statement was written out in advance and worded ambiguously enough to satisfy both parties at the time. He did not take communion, however, and the local church authorities were not satisfied. In order to secure a proper burial, his body had to be smuggled out of Paris by friends and hastily interred in the church at Champagne. Clerical opposition had also made it impossible for him to be buried at Ferney. The abbey prior at Champagne was later removed from office for allowing the burial there. Besterman states: "The plot to deny Voltaire decent burial had failed, and it only remained for the church to besmirch his deathbed and poison his memory. They did their best, and for long succeeded."

With the coming of the Revolution, Voltaire's reputation was vigorously rehabilitated. In 1792, his remains were moved to the Pantheon, but at the beginning of the Restoration his tomb was vandalized and his bones scattered. Maurois writes that his heart is preserved at the Bibliothèque Nationale, and Edwards notes that "the Nazis, quite fittingly, melted down his statue during their occupation of Paris."

Andre Maurois writes that Voltaire's efforts in behalf of the Calas family and other victims of persecution did more for his popular fame than his writings. For example, during the period of the Revolution, the National Convention ordered that, in the city of Toulouse, where Calas was martyred, there should be erected a marble column bearing the inscription:

THE NATIONAL CONVENTION

TO PATERNAL LOVE

TO NATURE

TO CALAS

VICTIM OF FANATICISM

Maurois observes wryly: "That came to pass in the year 1793, when the same assembly cut off the heads of many hundreds of Frenchmen who did not share its views."

Graphic Rule

Sources

1. Theodore Besterman, Voltaire. University of Chicago Press, 1969.

2. Theodore Besterman, Selected Letters of Voltaire. Thomas Nelson & Sons, Ltd., London, 1963.

3. Haydn Mason, Voltaire: A Biography. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1981.

4. Andre Maurois, Voltaire. Translated by Hamish Miles. Peter Davies, Ltd., Edinburgh, 1932.

5. Georg Brandes, Voltaire. Albert and Charles Boni, New York, 1930.

6. Alfred William Benn, The History of English Rationalism in the Nineteenth Century. Longmans, Green & Co., London, 1906 (two volumes).

7. Paul Edwards (contributor), The Encyclopedia of Unbelief. Prometheus Books, Buffalo, 1985 (two volumes).

8. J.F.M.A. de Voltaire, Candide, or: The Optimist. Translated by Fritz Kredel. The Peter Pauper Press, New York, no date.

9. H.I. Woolf, Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary, selected and translated. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1929.

10. Voltaire, Candide, or Optimism. A New Translation, Backgrounds, Criticism. Translated and edited by Robert M. Adams. W. W. Norton & Co., New York, 1966.

Graphic Rule