Download e-book for kindle: Voltaire's History of Charles XII, King of Sweden by Voltaire

By Voltaire

Voltaire's background of Charles XII King of Sweden
By Voltaire


THE “Life of Charles XII” that Mr. John Burns as soon as obtained for a penny within the New minimize an incident in itself old if one appears at it within the correct way--was, he writes to claim, an English model of Voltaire’s publication. The “Histoire de Charles XII, Roi de Suede,” used to be first released at Rouen in 1731, first freely translated into English by way of Alexander Henderson in 1734, and shortly afterwards lowered right into a chap-book, which made the King a proverbial hero in English festivals and marketplace areas. there were different translations when you consider that Henderson’s, and it's now retranslated by way of leave out Todhunter with a better correspondence than his to Voltaire’s original.

The ebook might declare a selected correct to an English listening to, except the most curiosity of its topic. It was once in England that the lifetime of Charles XII used to be written through Voltaire, whilst he was once on a trip of exigency there after the Rohan escapade and his moment Bastille imprisonment. The impression of this remain in England was once that of a settling on occasion in his occupation. “Voltairism” writes Mr. John Morley, “may be acknowledged to have began from the flight of its founder from Paris to London. This, to borrow a reputation from the main memorable example of outward swap marking inward revolution, used to be the decisive ‘hegira,’ from which the philosophy of destruction in a proper form could be held heavily to date.” We could complement this passage from the feedback of a French critic of one other tuition, who says, “England at the present used to be labored by means of a spirit of puppy matic irreligion which dependent itself on a fake erudition, a daring feedback and an insidious metaphysic. It used to be the time of Woolston, of Toland, of Tindal, of Chubb, of Collins, of Bolingbroke. until eventually then, an insouciant disciple and imitator of the epicureans of the Temple and the rous of the Regency, Voltaire had simply ventured on impiety by means of sallies; dogmas and mysteries had to date merely encouraged him with bon mots. within the college of the English philosophers he learnt to cause out his incredulity.”


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Example text

The small boats were within a hundred yards of the shore when Charles, impatient of the delay in landing, threw himself from the boat into the sea, sword in hand, and with the water up to his waist, and in spite of a shower of musket-shot, discharged by the Danes, his ministers, the ambassador of France, and officers and soldiers followed his example. The King, who had never before heard a discharge of loaded muskets, asked Major Stuart, who stood next to him, what that whistling was in his ears.

The King, who had never before heard a discharge of loaded muskets, asked Major Stuart, who stood next to him, what that whistling was in his ears. "It is the sound of the muskets they are firing at you," said the Major. " At that very moment the Major, who had explained the noise to him, was shot in the shoulder, and a lieutenant fell dead at the other side of the King. Troops attacked in entrenchments are generally beaten, because the attacking party has an impetus which defenders cannot have; besides, waiting for the enemy in one's lines is often a confession of inferiority.

He renounced all magnificence, pastimes and recreations, and reduced his menu to the utmost frugality. He had affected display in dress, but in future wore the uniform of a common soldier. There had been a rumour that he had entertained a passion for a lady of the Court. But whether this was true or not, it is certain that he abstained from the society of women for ever after, not only to avoid coming too much under their influence, but that he might prove to his soldiers his determination to live under the severest discipline; possibly, too, he wished to pose as the only Prince who had conquered so difficult a temptation.

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Voltaire's History of Charles XII, King of Sweden by Voltaire

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