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fication and registry, as if this form could have given it authenticity.

An instrument not signed by the party alone interested, signed by persons unknown, fifteen days after the event,

---an instrument disavowed by the real and credible witnesses of that event, involved evidently the crime of forgery; and, as the subject of the forgery was a matter of faith, the crime clearly rendered both the priest and the witnesses liable to the galleys in this world, and to hell in the other.

Our lord of the manor, however, who loved à joke, but had no gall or malice in his heart, took compassion both upon the bodies and souls of these conspirators. He declined delivering them over to human justice, and contented himself with giving them up to ridicule. But he declared that after the death of the Biscayan he would, if he survived, have the pleasure of printing an account of all his proceedings and manæuvres on this business, together with the documents and evidencés, just to amuse the small number of readers who might like anecdotes of that description; and not, as is often pompously announced, with a view to the instruction of the universe. There are so many authors who address themselves to the universe, who really imagine they attract, and perhaps absorb the attention of the universe, that he conceived he might not have above a dozen readers out of the hole who would attend for a moment to himself. But let us return to fanaticism.

It is this rage for making proselytes, this intensely mad desire which men feel to bring others over to partake of their own peculiar cup or communion, that induced the jesuit Castel and the jesuit Routh to rush with eagerness to the death-bed of the celebrated Montesquieu. These two devoted zealots desired nothing better than to have to boast that they had persuaded him of the merits of attrition and of sufficing grace. We wrought his conversion, they said. He was, in the main, a worthy soul: he was much attached to the society of Jesus. We had some little

difficulty in inducing him to admit certain fundamental truths; but as in these circumstances, in the crisis of life and death, the mind is always most clear and acute, we soon convinced him.

This fanatical eagerness for converting men is so ardent, that the most debauched monk in his convent would even quit his mistress, and walk to the very extremity of the city, for the sake of making a single convert.

We have all seen father Poisson, a cordelier of Paris, who impoverished his convent to pay his mistresses, and who was imprisoned in consequence of the depravity of his manners. He was one of the most popular preachers at Paris, and one of the most determined and zealous of converters.

Such also was the celebrated preacher Fantin, at Versailles. The list might be easily enlarged; but it is unnecessary, if not also dangerous, to expose the freaks and freedoms of constituted authorities. You know what happened to Ham for having revealed his father's shame. He became as black as a coal.

Let us merely pray to God, whether rising or laying down, that he would deliver us from fanatics, as the pilgrims of Mecca pray that they may meet with no sour faces on the road.


Ludlow, who was rather an enthusiast for liberty than a fanatic in religion—that brave man, who hated Cromwell more than he did Charles I. relates that the parliamentary forces were always defeated by the royal army in the beginning of the civil war; just as the regiment of porters (portes-cochères) were unable to stand the shock of conflict, in the time of the Fronde against the great Condé. Cromwell said to general Fairfax,—How can you possibly expect a rabble of London porters and apprentices to resist a nobility urged on by the principle, or rather the phantom, of honour? Let us actuate them by a more powerful phantom-fanaticism! Our enemies are fighting only for their king; let us persuade our troops they are fighting for their God.

Give me a commission, and I will raise a regiment of brother murderers, whom I will pledge myself soon to make invincible fanatics!

He was as good as his word; he composed his regiment of red-coated brothers, of gloomy religionists, whom he made obedient tigers. Mahomet himself was never better served by soldiers.

But in order to inspire this fanaticism, you must be seconded and supported by the spirit of the times. A French parliament at the present day would attempt in vain to raise a regiment of such porters as we have mentioned; it could, with all its efforts, merely rouse into frenzy a few women of the fish-market.

The ablest men only have the power both to make and to guide fanatics. It is not, however, sufficient to possess the profoundest dissimulation and the most determined intrepidity; everything depends, after these previous requisites are secured, on coming into the world at a proper time.


Geometry then, it seems, is not always connected with clearness and correctness of understanding. Over what precipices do not men fall, notwithstanding their boasted leading-string's of reason! A celebrated protestant* who was esteemed one of the first mathematicians of our age, and who followed in the train of the Newtons, the Leibnitzes, and Bernouillis, at the beginning of the present century, struck out some very singular corollaries. It is said that with a grain of faith a man may remove mountains; and this man of science, following up the method of pure geometrical analysis, reasoned thus with himself: I have many grains of faith, and can therefore remove many mountains. This was the man who made his appearance at London in 1707; and, associating himself with

* Fatio Duillier.


certain men of learning and science, some of whom, moreover, were not deficient in sagacity, they publicly announced that they would raise to life a dead person in any cemetery that might be fixed


Their soning was uniformly synthetical. They said, genuine disciples must have the power of performing miracles: we are genuine disciples, we therefore shall be able to perform as many as we please. The mere unscientific saints of the Romish church have resuscitated many worthy persons; therefore, a fortiori, we, the reformers of the reformed themselves, shall resuscitate as many as we may

desire, These arguments are irrefragable, being constructed according to the most correct form possible. Here we have at a glance the explanation why all antiquity was inundated with prodigies; why the temples of Esculapius at Epidaurus, and in other cities, were completely filled with ex votos; the roofs adorned with ighs straightened, arms restored, and silver infants : all was miracle.

In short, the famous protestant geometrician whom I speak of, appeared so perfectly sincere, he asserted so confidently that he would raise the dead, and his proposition was put forward with so much plausibility and strenuousness, that the people entertained a very strong impression on the subject, and queen Anne was advised to appoint a day, an hour, and a cemetery, such as he should himself select, in which he might have the opportunity of performing his miracle legally, and under the inspection of justice. The holy geometrician chose St. Paul's cathedral for the scene of his exertion : the people ranged themselves in two rows; soldiers were stationed to preserve order both among the living and the dead; the magistrates took their seats ; the register prepared his record; it was impossible that the new miracles could be verified too completely. A dead body was disinterred agreeably to the holy man's choice and direction; he then prayed, he fell upon his knees, and made the most pious and devout contortions possible; his companions imitated him; the dead body exhibited no sign of animation; it was again deposited in its grave, and the professed resuscitator and his adherents were slightly punished. I afterwards saw one of these misled creatures; he declared to me that one of the party was at the time under the stain of a venial sin, for which the dead person suffered, and but for which the resurrection would have been infallible.

Were it allowable for us to reveal the disgrace of those to whom we owe the sincerest respect, I should observe here, that Newton, the great Newton himself, discovered in the Apocalypse that the pope was antichrist, and made many other similar discoveries. I should also observe, that he was a decided Arian. I am aware that this deviation of Newton, compared to that of the other geometrician, is as unity to infinity. But if the exalted Newton imaged that he found the modern history of Europe in the Apocalypse, we may say,--Alas, poor human beings!

seems as if superstition were an epidemical disease, from which the strongest minds are not always exempt. There are in Turkey persons of great and strong sense, who would undergo impalement for the sake of certain opinions of Abubeker. These principles being once admitted, they reason with great consistency; and the Navaricians, the Radarists, and the Jabarists, mutually consign each other to damnation in conformity to very shrewd and subtle argument. They all draw plausible consequences, but they never dare to examine principles.

A report is publicly spread abroad by some person, that there exists a giant seventy feet high; the learned soon after begin to discuss and dispute about the colour of his hair, the thickness of his thumb, the measurement of his nails; they exclaim, cabal, and even fight upon the subject. Those who maintain that the little finger of the giant is only fifteen lines in diameter, burn those who assert that it is a foot thick.But, gentlemen, modestly observes a stranger passing by, does the giant you are disputing about really exist? What a horrible doubt! all the disputants cry out together.—What blasphemy! What absurdity!A short truce is then brought about to give time for

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