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Showing: 1-10 results of 24

VAUVENARGUES. One of the most important phases of French thought in the great century of its illumination is only thoroughly intelligible, on condition that in studying it we keep constantly in mind the eloquence, force, and genius of Pascal. He was the greatest and most influential representative of that way of viewing human nature and its circumstances, which it was one of the characteristic glories of the eighteenth century to have rebelled... more...

THE LIFE OF GEORGE ELIOT. The illustrious woman who is the subject of these volumes makes a remark to her publisher which is at least as relevant now as it was then. Can nothing be done, she asks, by dispassionate criticism towards the reform of our national habits in the matter of literary biography? 'Is it anything short of odious that as soon as a man is dead his desk should be raked, and every insignificant memorandum which he never meant... more...

A French writer has recently published a careful and interesting volume on the famous events which ended in the overthrow of Robespierre and the close of the Reign of Terror. These events are known in the historic calendar as the Revolution of Thermidor in the Year II. After the fall of the monarchy, the Convention decided that the year should begin with the autumnal equinox, and that the enumeration should date from the birth of the Republic.... more...

CONDORCET. Of the illustrious thinkers and writers who for two generations had been actively scattering the seed of revolution in France, only Condorcet survived to behold the first bitter ingathering of the harvest. Those who had sown the wind were no more; he only was left to see the reaping of the whirlwind, and to be swiftly and cruelly swept away by it. Voltaire and Diderot, Rousseau and Helvétius, had vanished, but Condorcet both... more...

JOSEPH DE MAISTRE. Owing to causes which lie tolerably near the surface, the remarkable Catholic reaction which took place in France at the beginning of the present century, has never received in England the attention that it deserves; not only for its striking interest as an episode in the history of European thought, but also for its peculiarly forcible and complete presentation of those ideas with which what is called the modern spirit is... more...


I. Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot was born in Paris on the 10th of May 1727. He died in 1781. His life covered rather more than half a century, extending, if we may put it a little roughly, over the middle fifty years of the eighteenth century. This middle period marks the exact date of the decisive and immediate preparation for the Revolution. At its beginning neither the intellectual nor the social elements of the great disruption had distinctly... more...

W. R. GREG: A SKETCH. It is perhaps a little hard to undertake to write about the personality of a thinker whose ideas one does not share, and whose reading of the events and tendencies of our time was in most respects directly opposite to one's own. But literature is neutral ground. Character is more than opinion. Here we may forget the loud cries and sounding strokes, the watchwords and the tactics of the tented field, and fraternise with the... more...

The proceedings which have now been brought satisfactorily to an end are of a kind which nobody who has sensibility as well as sense can take a part in without some emotion. An illustrious French philosopher who happened to be an examiner of candidates for admission to the Polytechnic School, once confessed that, when a youth came before him eager to do his best, competently taught, and of an apt intelligence, he needed all his self-control to... more...

AUGUSTE COMTE. Comte is now generally admitted to have been the most eminent and important of that interesting group of thinkers whom the overthrow of old institutions in France turned towards social speculation. Vastly superior as he was to men like De Maistre on the one hand, and to men like Saint Simon or Fourier on the other, as well in scientific acquisitions as in mental capacity, still the aim and interest of all his thinking was also... more...

ON PATTISON'S MEMOIRS. To reckon the subject of this volume among leading minds who have stamped a deep influence on our generation, is not possible even to the friendliest partiality. That was not his position, and nobody could be less likely than he would himself have been to claim it. Pattison started no new problem. His name is associated with no fertile speculation, and with no work of the first degree of importance. Nor was he any more... more...