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sighs, does Diderot pass his days. He has ever; he even breaks forth into (rather husky) been hard toiled, but then well flattered, and is singing. Who shall blame him? The Northnothing of a hypochondriac. What little ser-ern Cleopatra (whom, in any case, he must vice renown can do him, may now be consi- regard with other eyes than we) has stretched dered as done: he is in the centre of the litera-out a generous, helping hand to him, where ture, science, art, of his nation; not numbered otherwise there was no help, but only hindrance among the Academical Forty; yet, in his and injury: all men will, and should, more or heterodox heart, entitled to be almost proud of less, obey the proverb, to praise the fair as the exclusion; successful in Criticism, suc- their own market goes in it. cessful in Philosophism, nay, (highest of sub- One of the last great scenes in Diderot's lunary glories,) successful in the Theatre; Life, is his personal visit to this Benefactress. vanity may whisper, if she please, that ex- There is butae letter from him with Peterscepting the unattainable Voltaire alone, he is burgh for date, and that of ominous brevity. the first of Frenchmen. High heads are in The Philosophe was of open, aaheedful, freecorrespondence with him, the low-born; from and-easy disposition; Prince and Polisson Catharine the Empress to Philidor the Chess- were singularly alike to him; it was "hail player, he is in honoured relation with all fellow well met," with every Son of Adam, be manner of men; with scientific Buffons, Eulers, his clothes of one stuff or the other. Such a D'Alemberts; with artistic Falconnets, Van-man could be no court-sycophant, was ill cailoos, Riccobonis, Garricks. He was ambitious culated to succeed at court. We can imagine of being a Philosophe; and now the whole that the Neva-cholic, and the character of the fast-growing sect of Philosophes look up to Neva-water were not the only things hurtful him as their head and mystagogue. To Denis to his nerves there. For King Denis, who had Diderot, when he stept out of the Langres Dili- dictated such wonderful anti-regalities in the gence at the College d'Harcourt; or after- Abbé Raynal's History; and himself, in a mowards, when he walked in, the subterranean ment of sibylism, emitted that surprising anshades of Rascaldom, with uneasy steps over the nouncement (surpassing all yet uttered, or burning marle, a much smaller destiny would utterable, in the Tyrtan way) how have seemed desirable. Within doors, again, Ses mains (the freeman's) ourderaient les entrailles du matters stand rather disjointed, as surely they might well do: however, Madame Diderot is Au défaut d'un cordon, pour étrangler les rois ; always true and assiduous; if one Daughter for such a one, the climate of the Neva must talk enthusiastically, and at length (though have had something oppressive in it. The her father has written the Religieuse) die mad entrailles du prêtre were, indeed, much at his in a convent, the other, a quick, intelligent, service here, (could he get clutch of them ;) graceful girl, is waxing into womanhood, and but only for musical philosophe fiddle-strings; takes after the father's Philosophism, leaving nowise for a cordon! Nevertheless, Cleopatra the mother's Piety far enough aside. To is an uncommon woman, (or rather an uncomwhich elements of mixed good and evil from mon man,) and can put up with many things; without, add this so incalculably favourable and, in a gentle, skilful way, make the crooked one from within, that of all literary men Dide- straight. As her Philosophe presents himself rot is the least a self-listener; none of your in common apparel, she sends him a splendid puzzling, repenting, forecasting, earnest-bilious court-suit; and as he can now enter in a temperaments, but sanguineous-lymphatic ev- civilized manner, she sees him often, confers ery fibre of him, living lightly from hand to with him largely by happy chance, Grimm mouth, in a world mostly painted rose-colour. too at length arrives; and the winter passes The Encyclopédie, after nigh thirty years of without accident. Returning home in triumph, endeavour, (to which only the siege of Troy he can express himself contented, charmed may offer some faint parallel,) is finished. Scat- with his reception; has mineral specimens, tered Compositions of all sorts, printed or and all manner of hyperborean memorials for manuscript, making many Volumes, lie also friends; unheard-of-things to tell; how he finished; the Philosophe has reaped no golden crossed the bottomless, half-thawed Dwina, harvest from them. He is getting old: can with the water boiling up round his wheels, live out of debt, but is still poor. Thinking to the ice bending like leather, yet crackling like settle his daughter in marriage, he must resolve to sell his Library; money is not other-claim. wise to be raised. Here, however, the northern Cleopatra steps imperially forward; purchases his Library for its full value; gives him a handsome pension, as librarian to keep it for her; and pays him moreover fifty years thereof by advance in ready money. This we call imperial, (in a world so necessitous as ours,) though the whole munificence, did not (we find) cost above three thousand pounds; a trifle to the Empress of all the Russias. In fact, it is about the sum your first-rate king eats as board wages, in one day; who, how-inquietude, terror and despair, seated on the pillow of ever, has seldom sufficient: not to speak of their death-bed, (les noires inquiétudes, la terreur et le cnaritaoie overplus. In admiration of his Em- désespoir assis au chevet de leur lit de mort.)" Surely, "kings have poor times of it, to be run foul of by the press, the vivid Philosophe is now louder than like of thee!""

"I will! I!" eagerly responded the Abbé. "Do "But who dare stand for this ?" would Diderot exbut proceed." (Ala Mémoire de Diderot, by De Meister.) -Was the following one of the passages?

chastised, sooner or later, by the ingratitude and con"Happily these perverse instructors (of Kings) are tempt of their pupils. Happily, these pupils too, miserable in the bosom of grandeur, are tormented all their life by a deep ennui, which they cannot banish from their palaces. Happily, the religious prejudices which have been planted in their souls, return on them to affright teaches them, from time to time, the deep hatred that is them. Happily, the mournful silence of their people borne them. Happily, they are too cowardly to despise that hatred. Happily, (heureusement,) after a life which accept, if he knew all its wretchedness, they find black no mortal, not even the meanest of his subjects, would

mere ice, and shuddered, and got through | pedical head ever seen in this world: second safe; how he was carried, coach and all, into that he talked as never man talked ;—properly the ferry-boat at Mittau, on thirty wild men's as never man his admirers had heard, or as no backs, who floundered in the mud, and nigh man living in Paris then. That is to say, his broke his shoulder-blade; how he investigated was at once the widest, fertilest, and readiest Holland, and had conversed with Empresses, of minds. and High Mightinesses, and principalities and powers, and so seen, and conquered (for his own spiritual behoof) several of the Seven Wonders.

But, alas. his health is broken; old age is knocking at the gate, like an importunate creditor, who has warrant for entering. The radiant, lightly-bounding soul is now getting all dim, and stiff, and heavy with sleep: Diderot too must adjust himself, for the hour draws nigh. These last years he passes retired and private, not idle or miserable. Philosophy or Philosophism has nowise lost its charm; whatsoever so much as calls itself Philosopher can interest him. Thus poor Seneca (on occasion of some new Version of his Works) having come before the public, and been roughly dealt with, Diderot, with a long, last, concentrated effort, writes his Vie de Sénéque: struggling to make the hollo solid. Which, alas! after all his tinkering still sounds hollow; and notable Seneca, so wistfully desirous to stand well with Truth, and yet not ill with Nero, is and remains only our perhaps niceliest-proportioned Half-and-half, the plausiblest Plausible on record; no great man, no true man, no man at all; yet how much lovelier than such, as the mild-spoken, tolerating, charity-sermoning, immaculate Bishop Dogbolt, to a rude, self-helping, sharp-tongued Apostle Paul! Under which view, indeed, Seneca (though surely erroneously, for the origin of the thing was different) has been called, in this generation, "the father of all such as wear shovel-hats."

The Vie de Sénéque, as we said, was Diderot's last effort. It remains only to be added of him that he too died; a lingering but quiet death, which took place on the 30th of July, 1784. He once quotes from Montaigne the following, as Skeptic's viaticum: "I plunge stupidly, head foremost, into this dumb Deep, which swallows me, and chokes me, in a moment, full of insipidity and indolence. Death, which is but a quarter of an hour's suffering, without consequence and without injury, does not require peculiar precepts." It was Diderot's allotment to die with all due "stupidity:" he was leaning on his elbows; had eaten an apricot two minutes before, and answered his wife's remonstrances with: Mais que diable de mal veux-tu que cela me fasse? (How the deuse can that hurt me?) She spoke again, and he answered not. His House, which the curious will visit when they go to Paris, was in the Rue Taranne, at the intersection thereof with the Rue Saint-Benôit. The dust that was once his Body went to mingle with the common earth, in the church of Saint-Roch; his Life, the wondrous manifold Force that was in him, that was He, returned to ETERNITY, and is there, and continues there!

Two things, as we saw, are celebrated of Diderot. First, that he had the most encyclo

With regard to the Encyclopedical Head suppose it to mean that he was of such vivacity as to admit, and look upon with interest. almost all things which the circle of Existence could offer him; in which sense, this exag gerated laudation, of Encyclopedism, is no without its fraction of meaning. Of extraordinary openness and compass we must grant the mind of Diderot to be; of a susceptibility, quick activity; even naturally of a depth, and in its practical realized shape, of a universality, which bring it into kindred with the highest order of minds. On all forms of this wondrous Creation he can look with loving wonder; whatsoever thing stands there, has some brotherhood with him, some beauty and meaning for him. Neither is the faculty to see and interpret wanting; as, indeed, this faculty to see is inseparable from that other faculty to look, from that true wish to look; moreover (under another figure,) Intellect is not a tool, but a hand that can handle any tool. Nay, in Diderot we may discern a far deeper universality than that shown, or showable, in Lebreton's Encyclopédie; namely, a poetical; for, in slight gleams, this too manifests itself. A universality less of the head than of the character; such, we say, is traceable in this man, at lowest the power to have acquired such. Your true Encyclopedical is the Homer, the Shakspeare; every genuine Poet is a liv. ing embodied, real Encyclopedia,-in more or fewer volumes; were his experience, his insight of details, never so limited, the w world lies imaged as a whole withi whosoever has not seized the whole cannot yet speak truly (much less can he speak mu sically, which is harmoniously, concordantly) of any part, but will perpetually need new guidance, rectification. The fit use of such a man is as hodman; not feeling the plan of the edifice, let him carry stones to it; if he build the smallest stone, it is likeliest to be wrong, and cannot continue there.


But the truth is, as regards Diderot, this saying of the encyclopedical head comes mainly from his having edited a Bookseller's Encyclopedia, and can afford us little direc tion. Looking into the man, and omitting hi trade, we find him by nature gifted in a high degree with openness and versatility, yet nowise in the highest degree; alas, in quite another degree than that. Nay, if it be meant further that in practice, as a writer and think. er, he has taken in the Appearances of Life and the World, and images them back with such freedom, clearness, fidelity, as we have not many times witnessed elsewhere, as we have not various times seen infinitely sur passed elsewhere, this same encyclopedical praise must altogether be denied him. Diderot's habitual world, we must on the contrary say, is a half-world, distorted into looking like a whole; it is properly, a poor, fractional, insig. nificant world; partial, inaccurate, perverted

from end to end. Alas, it was the destiny of the man to live as a Polemic; to be born also in the morning tide and first splendour of the Mechanical Era; not to know, with the smailest assurance or continuance, that in the Universe, other than a mechanical meaning could exist which force of destiny acting on him through his whole course, we have obtained what now stands before us: no Seer, but only possibilities of a Seer, transient irradiations of a Seer, looking through the organs of a Philosophe.

These two considerations, which indeed are properly but one, (for a thinker, especially of French birth, in the Mechanical Era, could not be other than a Polemic,) must never for a moment be left out of view in judging the works of Diderot. It is a great truth, one side of a great truth, that the Man makes the Circumstances, and spiritually as well as economically, is the artificer of his own fortune. But there is another side of the same truth, that the man's circumstances are the element he is appointed to live and work in; that he by necessity takes his complexion, vesture, imbodyment, from these, and is, in all practical manifestations, modified by them almost without limit; so that in another no less genuine sense, it can be said the Circumstances make the Man. Now, if it continually behoves us to insist on the former truth towards ourselves, it equally behoves us to bear in mind the latter when we judge of other men. The most gifted soul, appearing in France in the Eighteenth Century, can as little imbody himself in the intellectual vesture of an Athenian Plato, as in the grammatical one; his thought can no more be Greek, than his language can. He thinks of the things belonging to the French eighteenth century, and in the dialect he has learned there; in the light, and under the conditions prescribed there. Thus, as the most original, resolute, and selfdirecting of all the Moderns has written: "Let a man be but born ten years sooner, or ten years later, his whole aspect and performance shall be different." Grant, doubtless, that a certain perennial Spirit, true for all times and all countries, can and must look through the thinking of certain men, be it in what dialect soever: understand, meanwhile, that strictly this holds only of the highest order of men, and cannot be exacted of inferior orders; among whom, if the most sedulous, loving inspection disclose any even secondary symptoms of such a Spirit, it ought to seem enough. Let us remember well that the high-gifted, high-striving Diderot was born in the point of Time and of Space, when of all uses he could turn himself to, of all dialects speak in, this of Polemical Philosophism, and no other, seemed the most promising and fittest. Let us remember too that no earnest Man, in any Time, ever spoke what was wholly meaningless; that, in all human conrictions, much more in all human practices, there was a true side, a fraction of truth; which fraction is precisely the thing we want to extract from them, if we want any thing at ail to do with them.

the rest, concern not Diderot, now departed,
and indifferent to them, but only ourselves
who could wish to see him, and not to mis-see
him) are essential, we say, through our whole
survey of his Opinions and Proceedings, ge
nerally so alien to our own; but most of all
in reference to his head Opinion, properly the
source of all the rest, and the more shocking,
even horrible, to us than all the rest: we
mean his Atheism. David Hume, dining once
in company where Diderot was, remarked
that he did n. t think there were any Atheists.
"Count us," said a certain Monsieur
they were eighteen. "Well," said the Mon-
sieur -,"it is pretty fair if you have
fished out fifteen at the first cast; and three
others who know not what to think of it." In
fact, the case was common: your Philosophe
of the first water had grown to reckon Athe-
ism a necessary accomplishment. Gowkthrap-
ple Naigeon, as we saw, had made himself
very perfect therein.


Diderot was an Atheist, then; stranger still, a proselytizing Atheist, who esteemed the creed worth earnest reiterated preaching, and enforcement with all vigour! The unhappy man had "sailed through the Universe of Worlds and found no Maker thereof; had descended to the abysses where Being no longer casts its shadow, and felt only the rain-drops trickle down; and seen only the glimmering rainbow of Creation, which originated from no Sun; and heard only the everlasting storm which no one governs; and looked upwards for the DIVINE EYE, and beheld only the black, bottomless, glaring DEATH'S EYE-SOCKET:" such, with all his wide voyages, was the philosophic fortune he had realized.

Sad enough, horrible enough: yet instead of shrieking over it, or howling and Ernulphus'-cursing over it, let us, as the more profitable method, keep our composure, and inquire a little, What possibly it may mean? The whole phenomenon, as seems to us, will explain itself from the fact above insisted on, that Diderot was a Polemic of decided character, in the Mechanical Age. With great expenditure of words and froth, in arguments as waste, wild-weltering, delirious-dismal as the chaos they would demonstrate-which arguments one now knows not whether to laugh at or to weep at, and almost does both,-have Diderot and his sect perhaps made this apparent to all who examine it: That in the French System of Thought, (called also the Scotch, and still familiar enough everywhere, which for want of a better title we have named the Mechanical,) there is no room for a Divinity; that to him for whom "intellect, or the power of knowing and believing is still synonymous with logic, or the mere power of arranging and communicating," there is absolutely no proof discoverable of a Divinity; and such a man has nothing for it but either (if he be of half spirit, as is the frequent case) to trim despicably all his days between two opinions; or else (if he be of whole spirit) to anchor on the rock or quagmire of Atheism,and further, should he see fit, proclaim to others that there is good riding there. So

Such palliative considerations (which, for|much may Diderot have demonstrated: a

conclusion at which we nowise turn pale. Was it much to know that Metaphysical Speculation, by nature, whirls round in endless Mahlstroms, both "creating and swallowing itself!" For so wonderful a self-swallowing product of the Spirit of Time, could any result to arrive at be fitter than this of the ETERNAL No? We thank Heaven that the result is finally arrived at; and so now we can look out for something other and further. But, above all things, proof of a God? A probable God! The smallest of Finites struggling to prove to itself (that is to say, if we consider it, to picture out and arrange as diagram, and include within itself) the Highest Infinite; in which, by hypothesis, it lives, and moves, and has its being! This, we conjecture, will one day seem a much more miraculous miracle than that negative result it has arrived at,-or any other result a still absurder chance might have led it to. He who, in some singular Time of the World's History, were reduced to wander about, in stooping posture, with painfully constructed sulphur-match and farthing rushlight, (as Gowkthrapple Naigeon,) or smoky tar-link, (as Denis Diderot,) searching for the Sun, and did not find it; were he wonderful and his failure; or the singular Time, and its having put him on that search? Two small consequences, then, we fancy, may have followed, or be following, from poor Diderot's Atheism. First, that all speculations of the sort we call Natural-theology, endeavouring to prove the beginning of all Belief by some Belief earlier than the beginning, are barren, ineffectual, impossible; and may, so soon as otherwise it is profitable, be abandoned. of final causes, man, by the nature of the case, can prove nothing; knows them (if he know any thing of them) not by glimmering flintsparks of Logic, but by an infinitely higher light of intuition; never long, by Heaven's mercy, wholly eclipsed in the human soul; and (under the name of Faith, as regards this matter) familiar to us now, historically or in conscious possession, for upwards of four thousand years. To all open men it will indeed always be a favourite contemplation, that of watching the ways of Being, how animate adjusts itself to inanimate, rational to irrational; and this, that we name Nature, is not a desolate phantasm of a chaos, but a wondrous existence and reality. If, moreover, in those same “marks of design," as he has called them, the contemplative man find new evidence of a designing Maker, be it well for him: meanwhile, surely, the still clearer evidence lay nearer home, in the contemplative man's own head that seeks after such! In which point of view our extant Natural-theologies, as our innumerable Evidences of the Christian Religion, and such like, may, in reference to the strange season they appear in, have an indubitable value and be worth printing and reprinting; only let us understand for whom, and how, they are valuable; and be nowise wroth with the poor Atheist, whom they have not convinced, and could not, and should not convince.

The second consequence seems to be that this whole current hypothesis of the Universe being "a Machine," and then of an Architect,

who constructed it, sitting as it were apart, and guiding it, and seeing it go,-may turn out an inanity and nonentity; not much longer tenable: with which result likewise we shall, in the quietest manner, reconcile ourselves. "Think ye," says Goethe, "that God made the Universe, and then let it run round his finger (am Finger laufen liesse ?)" On the whole, that Metaphysical hurly-burly (of our poor, jarring, self-listening Time) ought at length to compose itself: that seeking for a God there, and not here; everywhere outwardly in physical Nature, and not inwardly in our own Soul, where alone He is to be found by us, begins to get wearisome. Above all, that " faint possible Theism," which now forms our common English creed, cannot be too soon swept out of the world. What is the nature of that individual, who with hysteri cal violence theoretically asserts a God, perhaps a revealed Symbol and Worship of God; and for the rest, in thought, word, and conduct, meet with him where you will, is found living as if his theory were some polite figure of speech, and his theoretical God a mere distant Simulacrum, with whom he, for his part, had nothing further to do? Fool! The ETERNAL is no Simulacrum; God is not only There, but Here, or nowhere, in that life-breath of thine, in that act and thought of thine,-and thou wert wise to look to it. If there is no God, as the fool hath said in his heart, then live on with thy decencies, and lip-homages, and inward Greed, and falsehood, and all the hollow cunningly-devised halfness that recommends thee to the Mammon of this world: if there is a God, we say, look to it! But in either case, what art thou? The Atheist is false; yet is there, as we see, a fraction of truth in him: he is true compared with thee; thou unhappy mortal, livest wholly in a lie, art wholly a lie.

So that Diderot's Atheism comes, if not to much, yet to something: we learn this from it (and from what it stands connected with, and may represent for us,) that the Mechanical System of Thought is, in its essence, Atheistic; that whosoever will admit no organ of truth but logic, and nothing to exist but what can be argued of, must even content himself with his sad result, as the only solid one he can arrive at; and so with the best grace he can "of the ether make a gas, of God a force, of the second world a coffin;" of man an aimless nondescript, “little better than a kind of vermin.” If Diderot, by bringing matters to this parting of the roads, have enabled or helped us to strike into the truer and better road, let him have our thanks for it. As to what remains, be pity our only feeling; was not his creed miserable enough; nay, moreover, did not he bear its miserableness, so to speak, in our stead, so that it need now be no longer borne by any one.

In this same, for him unavoidable circumstance, of the age he lived in, and the system of thought universal then, will be found the key to Diderot's whole spiritual character and procedure; the excuse for much in him that to us is false and perverted. Beyond the meagre "rush-light of closet-logic," Diderot recognised no guidance. That "the Highest cannot be spoken of in words," was a truth ho had not dreamt of. Whatsoever thing he ca

not debate of, we might almost say measure and weigh, and carry off with him to be eaten and enjoyed, is simply not there for him. He dwelt all his days in the "thin rind of the Conscious;" the deep fathomless domain of the Unconscious, whereon the other rests, and has its meaning, was not, under any shape, surmised by him. Thus must the Sanctuary of Man's Soul stand perennially shut against this man; where his hand ceased to grope, the World ended within such strait conditions had he to live and labour. And naturally to distort and dislocate, more or less, all things he laboured on for whosoever, in one way or another, recognises not that "Divine Idea of the World, which lies at the bottom of Appearances," can rightly interpret no Appearance; and whatsoever spiritual thing he does, must do it partially, do it falsely.

were a clencher, "thou makest a vow o' eternal constancy under a rock, which is even then crumbling away." True, O Denis! the rock crumbles away: all things are changing; man changes faster than most of them. That, in the meanwhile, an Unchangeable lies under all this, and looks forth, solemn and benign, through the whole destiny and workings of man, is another truth; which no Mechanical Philosophe, in the dust of his logic-mill, can be expected to grind out for himself. Man changes, and will change: the question then arises, Is it wise in him to tumble forth, in headlong obedience to this love of change; is it so much as possible for him? Among the dualisms of man's wholly dualistic nature, this we might fancy was an observable one: that along with his unceasing tendency to change, there is a no less ineradicable tendency to per Mournful enough, accordingly, is the ac- severe. Were man only here to change, let count which Diderot has given himself of him, far from marrying, cease even to hedge Man's existence; on the duties, relations, pos- in fields, and plough them; before the autumn sessions whereof he had been a sedulous think-season, he may have lost the whim of reaping er. In every conclusion we have this fact of them. Let him return to the nomadic state, his Mechanical culture. Coupled too with and set his house on wheels; nay there too a another fact honourable to him: that he stuck certain restraint must curb his love of change, not at half measures; but resolutely drove or his cattle will perish by incessant driving, on to the result, and held by it. So that without grazing in the intervals. O Denis, we cannot call him a skeptic; he has merited what things thou babblest in thy sleep! How, the more decisive name of Denier. He may be in this world of perpetual flux, shall man said to have denied that there was any the secure himself the smallest foundation, except smallest Sacredness in Man, or in the Uni- hereby alone: that he take pre-assurance of verse; and to have both speculated and lived on his Fate; that in this and the other high act this singular footing. We behold in him the nota- of life, his Will, with all solemnity, abdicate its ble extreme of a man guiding himself with the right to change; voluntarily become involunleast spiritual Belief that thinking man perhaps tary, and say once for all, Be there then no ever had. Religion, in all recognisable shapes further dubitation on it! Nay, the poor unand senses, he has done what man can do to clear heroic craftsman; that very stocking-weaver, out of him. He believes that pleasure is plea- on whose loom thou now as amateur weavest: sant; that a lie is unbelievable; and there, his must not even he do as much,-when he credo terminates; nay there, what perhaps signed his apprentice-indentures? The fool! makes his case almost unique, his very fancy who had such a relish in himself for all things, seems to fall silent. for kingship and emperorship; yet made a vow (under penalty of death by hunger) of eternal constancy to stocking-weaving. Yet otherwise, were no thriving craftsmen possible; only botchers, bunglers, transitory nondescripts; unfed, mostly gallows-feeding. But, on the whole, what feeling it was in the ancient devout deep soul, which of Marriage made a Sacrament: this, of all things in the world, is what Denis will think of for xons, without discovering. Unless, perhaps, it were to increase the vestry-fees!

For a consequent man, all possible spiritual perversions are included under that grossest one of "proselytizing Atheism;" the rest, of what kind and degree soever, cannot any longer astonish us. Diderot has them of all kinds and degrees; indeed, we might say, the French Philosophe (take him at his word, for inwardly much that was foreign adhered to him, do what he could) has emitted a Scheme of the World, to which all that Oriental Mullah, Bonze, or Talapoin have done in that kind is poor and feeble. Omitting his whole unparalleled Cosmoganies and Physiologies; coming to his much milder Tables of the Moral Law, we shall glance here but at one minor external item, the relation between man and man; and at only one branch of this, and with all slightness, the relation of covenants; for example, the most important of these, Marriage.

Diderot has convinced himself, and, indeed, as above became plain enough, acts on the conviction, that Marriage, contract it, solemnize it in what way you will, involves a solecism which reduces the amount of it to simple It is a suicidal covenant; annuls itself in the very forming. "Thou makest a vow," says he, twice or thrice, as if the argument


Indeed, it must be granted, nothing yet seen or dreamt of can surpass the liberality of friend Denis as magister morum; nay, often our poor Philosophe feels called on, in an age of such Spartan rigor, to step forth into the public Stews, and emit his inspiring Macte virtute! there. Whither let the curious in such matters follow him: we, having work else where, wish him "good journey," or rather "safe return." Of Diderot's indelicacy and indecency there is for us but little to say. Diderot is not what we call indelicate and indecent; he is utterly unclean, scandalous, shameless, sansculottic-samoedic. To declare with lyric fury that this is wrong; or with historic calmness, that a pig of sensibiuty would go distracted did you accuse him of it,

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