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I am a heritage because I
brln you years cj thought
and tbe lore of time *-^
I Impart yet I can r>ot speak-
I have traveled amorxi tbe
peoples o^ tbe eartb
am a rover-^ Oft-tl
I strc^y jron? tbe /tresufe-
of tbe or^ u;bo loves ar^3
cberlsbeo n9e-a/bo
rmooeo n?e u/hep I an?
^oi?e ^-Should you find
me varar?t please send



brothers -on tbe book-
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Annex




VOLTAIRE



A PHILOSOPHICAL DICTIONARY



IN TEN VOLUMES

VOL. VIII.

MONEY PRIVILEGE



LIST OF PLATES
VOL. XII



PAGE



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THE INITIATE BANISHING THE PRIEST . . 96
JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU . . . .164
JOHN CALVIN 294



A PHILOSOPHICAL DICTIONARY.



MONEY.

A WORD made use of to express gold. "Sir, will
you lend me a hundred louis d'or?" "Sir, I would
with all my heart, but I have no money ; I am out
of ready money." The Italian will say to you:
"Signore, non ha di danari" "I have no deniers."

Harpagon asks Maitre Jacques: "Wilt thou
make a good entertainment?" "Yes, if you will
give me plenty of money."

We continually inquire which of the countries of
Europe is the richest in money ? By that we mean,
which is the people who circulate the most metals
representative of objects of commerce? In the
same manner we ask, which is the poorest? and
thirty contending nations present themselves the
Westphalian, Limousin, Basque, Tyrolese, Valois,
Grison, Istrian, Scotch, and Irish, the Swiss of a
small canton, and above all the subjects of the pope.

In deciding which has most, we hesitate at pres-
ent between France, Spain, and Holland, which had
none in 1600.

Formerly, in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fif-
teenth centuries, the province of the papal treasury
had no doubt the most ready money, and therefore

5



6 Philosophical

the greatest trade. How do you sell that ? would be
asked of a theological merchant, who replied, For
as much as the people are fools enough to give me.

All Europe then sent its money to the Roman
court, who gave in change consecrated beads,
agnuses, indulgences plenary and limited, dispensa-
tions, confirmations, exemptions, benedictions, and
even excommunications against those whom the
subscriber chose; and who had not sufficient faith
in the court of Rome.

The Venetians sold nothing of all this, but they
traded with all the West by Alexandria, and it was
through them only that we had pepper and cinna-
mon. The money which went not to the papal
treasury came to them, excepting a little to the
Tuscans and Genoese. All the other kingdoms of
Europe were so poor in ready money that Charles
VIII. was obliged to borrow the jewels of the
duchess of Savoy and put them in pawn, to raise
funds to conquer Naples, which he soon lost again.
The Venetians supported stronger armies than his.
A noble Venetian had more gold in his coffers, and
more vessels of silver on his table, than the emperor
Maximilian surnamed "Pochi danari"

Things changed when the Portuguese trade({
with India as conquerors, and the Spaniards sub-
jugated Mexico and Peru with six or seven hundre6
men. We know that then the commerce of Venice,,
and the other towns of Italy all fell to the ground.
Philip II., the master of Spain, Portugal, the Low



Dictionary. 7

Countries, the Two Sicilies, and the Milanese, of
fifteen hundred leagues of coast in Asia, and mines
of gold and silver in America, was the only rich,
and consequently the only powerful prince in Eu-
rope. The spies whom he gained in France kissed
on their knees the Catholic doubloons, and the small
number of angels and caroluses which circulated in
that country had not much credit. It is pretended
that America and Asia brought him in nearly ten
million ducats of revenue. He would have really
bought Europe with his money, but for the iron of
Henry IV. and the fleets of Queen Elizabeth.

The "Dictionnaire Encyclopedique" in the article
on "Argent," quotes the "Spirits of Laws," in which
it is said : "I have heard deplored a thousand times,
the blindness of the council of Francis I., who re-
jected the proposal of Christopher Columbus for the
discovery of the Indies perhaps this imprudence
has turned out a very wise thing."

We see by the enormous power of Philip that the
pretended council of Francis I. could not have done
such a wise thing. But let us content ourselves
with remarking that Francis I. was not born when
it is pretended that he refused the offers of Chris-
topher Columbus. The Genoese captain landed in
America in 1492, and Francis I. was born in 1497,
and did not ascend the throne until 1515. Let us
here compare the revenues of Henry III., Henry
IV., and Queen Elizabeth, with those of Philip II.
The ordinary income of Elizabeth was only one



8 Philosophical

hundred thousand pound sterling, and with extras
it was, one year with another, four hundred thou-
sand; but she required this surplus to defend her-
self from Philip II. Without extreme economy she
would have been lost, and England with her.

The revenue of Henry III. indeed increased to
thirty millions of livres of his time ; this, to the sum
that Philip drew from the Indies, was as three to
ten; but not more than a third of this money en-
tered into the coffers of Henry III., who was very
prodigal, greatly robbed, and consequently very
poor. We findthat Philip II. in one article was ten
times richer than Henry.

As to Henry IV., it is not worth while to com-
pare his treasures with those of Philip II. Until
the Peace of Vervins, he had only what he could
borrow or win at the point of his sword; and he
lived as a knight-errant, until the time in which he
became the first king in Europe. England had al-
ways been so poor that King Edward III. was the
first king who coined money of gold.

Would we know what became of the money
which flowed continually from Mexico and Peru
into Spain? It entered the pockets of the French,
English and Dutch, who traded with Cadiz under
Spanish names; and who sent to America the
productions of their manufactories. A great part
of this money goes to the East Indies to pay for
spices, cotton, saltpetre, sugar, candy, tea, cloths,
diamonds, and monkeys.



Dictionary, 9

We may afterwards demand, what is become of
all the treasures of the Indies ? I answer that Shah
Thamas Kouli-Khan or Shah Nadir had carried
away all those of the great Mogul, together with
his jewels. You would know where those jewels
are, and this money that Shah Nadir carried with
him into Persia? A part was hidden in the earth
during the civil wars ; predatory leaders made use
of the rest to raise troops against one another;
for, as Caesar very well remarks : "With money we
get soldiers, and with soldiers we steal money." A

Your curiosity is not yet satisfied ; you are
troubled to know what have become of the treasures
of Sesostris, of Croesus, Cyrus, Nebuchadnezzar,
and above all of Solomon, who, it is said, had to his
own share equal to twenty millions and more of our
pounds in his coffers.

I will tell you. It is spread all over the world.
Things find their level in time. Be sure, that in the
time of Cyrus, the Gauls, Germany, Denmark,
Poland, and Russia, had not a crown. Besides, that
which is lost in gilding, which is fooled away upon
our Lady of Loretto, and other places, and which
has been swallowed up by the avaricious sea must
be counted.

How did the Romans under their great Romulus,
the son of Mars, and a vestal, and under the devout
Numa Pompilius? They had a Jupiter of oak;
rudely carved huts for palaces; a handful of hay
at the end of a stick for a standard ; and not a piece



io Philosophical

of money of twelve sous value in their pockets.
Our coachmen have gold watches that the seven
kings of Rome, the Camilluses, Manliuses, and
Fabiuses, could not have paid for.

If by chance the wife of a receiver-general of
finances was to have this chapter read at her
toilette by the bel-esprit of the house, she would
have a strange contempt for the Romans of the
three first centuries, and would not allow a Manlius,
Curius, or Fabius to enter her antechamber, should
he come on foot, and not have wherewithal to take
his part at play.

Their ready money was of brass. It served at
once for arms and money. They fought and reck-
oned with brass. Three or four pounds of brass,
of twelve ounces weight, paid for an ox. They
bought necessaries at market, as we buy them at
present ; and men had, as in all times, food, cloth-
ing, and habitations. The Romans, poorer than
their neighbors, conquered them, and continually
augmented their territory for the space of five hun-
dred years, before they coined silver money.

The soldiers of Gustavus Adolphus in Sweden
had nothing but copper money for their pay, before
the time that they made conquests out of their own
country.

Provided we have a pledge of exchange for the
necessary things of life, commerce will continually
go on. It signifies not whether this pledge be of
shells or paper. Gold and silver have prevailed



Dictionary. 1 1

everywhere, only because they have been the most
rare.

It was in Asia that the first manufactures of
money of these two metals commenced, because
Asia was the cradle of all the arts.

There certainly was no money in the Trojan
war. Gold and silver passed by weight ; Agamem-
non might have had a treasure, but certainly no
money.

What has made several hardy scholars suspect
that the "Pentateuch" was not written until the
time in which the Hebrews began to procure coins
from their neighbors is that in more than one pas-
sage mention is made of shekels. It is there said
that Abraham, who was a stranger and had not an
inch of land in the country of Canaan, bought there
a field and a cave in which to bury his wife, for four
hundred shekels of silver current money. The
judicious Dom Calmet values this sum at four hun-
dred and forty-eight livres, six sous, nine deniers,
according to the ancient calculation adopted at ran-
dom, in which the silver mark was of six-and-
twenty livres value. As the silver mark has, how-
ever, increased by half the sum, the present value
would be eight hundred and ninety-six livres.

Now, as in that time there was no coined money
answering to the word "pecunia" that would make
a little difficulty, from which it is not easy to extri-
cate ourselves.

Another difficulty is, that in one place it is said



1 2 Philosophical

that Abraham bought this field in Hebron, and in
another at Sichem. On that point consult the vener-
able Bede, Raban, Maure, and Emanuel Sa.

We will now speak of the riches which David
left to Solomon in coined money. Some make it
amount to twenty-one or twenty-two millions of
French livres, others to five-and-twenty. There is
no keeper of the royal treasure, nor t-efterdan of the
grand Turk's, who can exactly compute the treasure
of King Solomon ; but the young bachelors of Ox-
ford and the Sorbonne make out the amount with-
out difficulty.

I will not speak of the innumerable adventures
which have happened to money since it has been
stamped, marked, valued, altered, increased, buried,
and stolen, having through all its transformations
constantly remained the idol of mankind. It is so
much loved that among all Christian princes there
still exists an old law which is not to allow gold
and silver to go out of their kingdoms. This law
implies one of two things either that these princes
reign over fools who lavish their money in a foreign
country for their pleasure, or that we must not pay
our debts to foreigners. It is, however, clear that
no person is foolish enough to give his money
without reason, and that, when we are in debt to a
foreigner, we should pay him either in bills of ex-
change, commodities, or legitimate coin. Thus this
law has not been executed since we began to open
our eyes which is not long ago.



Dictionary. 13

There are many things to be said on coined
money; as on the unjust and ridiculous augmenta-
tion of specie, which suddenly loses considerable
sums to a state on the melting down again ; on the
re-stamping, with an augmentation of ideal value,
which augmentation invites all your neighbors and
all your enemies to re-coin your money and gain at
your expense; in short, on twenty other equally
ruinous expedients. Several new books are full of
judicious remarks upon this subject. It is more easy
to write on money than to obtain it ; and those who
gain it, jest much at those who only know how to
write about it.

In general, the art of government consists in
taking as much money as possible from one part of
the citizens to give to the other.

It is demanded, if it be possible radically to ruin
a kingdom of which the soil in general is fertile.
We answer that the thing is not practicable, since
from the war of 1689 till the end of 1769, in which
we write, everything has continually been done
which could ruin France and leave it without re-
source, and yet it never could be brought about. It
is a sound body which has had a fever of eighty
years with relapses, and which has been in the hands
of quacks, but which will survive.

MONSTERS.

THE definition of monsters is more difficult than
is generally imagined. Are we to apply the term



14 Philosophical

to animals of enormous size ; to a fish, or a serpent
fifteen feet long, for instance? There are some,
however, that are twenty or even thirty feet long,
in comparison with which of course the others, in-
stead of enormous or monstrous, would appear
small.

There are monsters through defect. But, if a
generally well-made and handsome man were desti-
tute from his birth of the little toes and little
fingers, would he be a monster? Teeth are more
necessary to a man ; I have seen a man who never
had a tooth. He was in other respects pleasing in
his person. Being destitute of the organs of genera-
tion, still more necessary in the system of nature,
would not constitute the person thus defective a
monster.

There are monsters by excess as well as by de-
fect. But those who have six fingers, or three testi-
cles, or two perforations instead of one, or the spine
elongated in the form of a small tail, are not con-
sidered monsters.

The third kind consists of those which have
members of other animals ; as, for example, a lion
with the wings of an ostrich, or a serpent with the
wings of an eagle, like the griffin and ixion of the
Jews. But all bats have wings, and flying fish have
them, without being monsters.

Let us, then, reserve the name for animals whose
deformities strike us with horror.

Yet the first negro, upon this idea, was a monster



Dictionary. 15

to white women; and the most admirable of Eu-
ropean beauties was a monster in the eyes of ne-
groes.

If Polyphemus and the Cyclops had really ex-
isted, people who carried an eye on each side of the
root of the nose, would, in the island of Lipari, and
the neighborhood of Mount ^tna, have been pro-
nounced monsters.

I once saw, at a fair, a young woman with four
nipples, or rather dugs, and what resembled the
tail of a cow hanging down between them. She
was decidedly a monster when she displayed her
neck, but was rather an agreeable woman in appear-
ance when she concealed it.

Centaurs and Minotaurs would have been mon-
sters, but beautiful monsters. The well-propor-
tioned body of a horse serving as a base or support
to the upper part of a man would have been a
masterpiece of nature's workmanship on earth ; just
as we draw the masterpieces of heaven those
spirits which we call angels, and which we paint and
sculpture in our churches adorned sometimes with
two wings, sometimes with four, and sometimes
even with six.

We have already asked, with the judicious Locke,
what is the boundary of distinction between the
human and merely animal figure ; what is the point
of monstrosity at which it would be proper to take
your stand against baptizing an infant, against ad-
mitting it as a member of the human species, against



1 6 Philosophical

according to it the possession of a soul? We have
seen that this boundary is as difficult to be settled
as it is difficult to ascertain what a soul is ; for there
certainly are none who know what it is but theo-
logians.

Why should the satyrs which St. Jerome saw,
the offspring of women and baboons, have been re-
puted monsters? Might it not be thought, on the
contrary, that their lot was in reality happier than
ours ? Must they not have possessed more strength
and more agility ? and would they not have laughed
at us as an unfortunate race, to whom nature had re-
fused both tails and clothing? A mule, the off-
spring of two different species ; a jumart, the off-
spring of a bull and a mare ; a tarin, the offspring,
we are told, of a canary bird and hen linnet are
not monsters.

But how is it that mules, jumarts, and tarins,
which are thus produced in nature, do not them-
selves reproduce? And how do the seminists,
ovists, or animalculists, explain, upon their respec-
tive theories, the formation of these mongrel produc-
tions ?

I will tell you plainly, that they do not explain
it at all. The seminists never discovered how it
is that the ass communicates to his mule offspring
a resemblance only in the ears and crupper; the
ovists neither inform us, nor understand how a
mare should contain in her egg anything but an
animal of her own species. And the animalculists



Dictionary. 17

cannot perceive how a minute embryo of an ass
could introduce its ears into the matrix of a mare.

The theorist who, in a work entitled the "Phi-
losophy of Venus," maintained that all animals and
all monsters are formed by attraction, was still less
successful than those just mentioned, in accounting
for phenomena so common and yet so surprising.

Alas ! my good friends ! you none of you know
how you originate your own offspring; you are
ignorant of the secrets of nature in your own
species, and yet vainly attempt to develop them in
the mule !

It may, however, be confidently presumed, in
reference to a monster by defect, that the whole
seminal matter did not reach its destined appropria-
tion; or, perhaps, that the small spermatic worm
had lost a portion of its substance ; or, perhaps that
the egg was crazed and injured. With respect to
a monster by excess, you may imagine that some
portions of the seminal matter superabounded ; that
of two spermatic worms united, one could only ani-
mate a single member of the animal, and that that
member remains in supererogation; that two eggs
have blended together, and that one of them has
produced but a single member, which was joined to
the body of the other.

But what would you say of so many monstrosi-
ties arising from the addition of parts of animals of
a totally different species? How would you ex-
plain a crab on the neck of a girl? or the tail of
Vol. 12 2



1 8 Philosophical

a rat upon the thigh? or, above all, the four dugs
and tail of a cow, which was exhibited at the fair
at St. Germain? You would be reduced to the
supposition that the unfortunate woman's mother
belonged to the very extraordinary family of Pasi-
phce.

Let each of us boldly and honestly say, How little
is it that I really know.

MORALITY.

BABBLERS, preachers, extravagant controversial-
ists ! endeavor to remember that your master never
announced that the sacrament was the visible
sign of an invisible thing; He has nowhere ad-
mitted four cardinal virtues, and three divine ones.
He has never decided whether His mother came
into the world maculate or immaculate. Cease,
therefore, to repeat things which never entered into
His mind. He has said, in conformity with a truth
as ancient as the world Love God and your neigh-
bor. Abide by that precept, miserable cavillers !
Preach morality and nothing more. Observe it, and
let the tribunals no longer echo with your prosecu-
tions ; snatch no longer, by the claw of an attorney,
their morsel of bread from the widow and the or-
phan. Dispute not concerning some petty benefice
with the same fury as the papacy was disputed in
the great schism of the West. Monks ! place not to
the utmost of your power, the universe under con-



Dictionary. 19

tribution, and we may then be able to believe you.
I have just read these words in a piece of decla-
mation in fourteen volumes, entitled, "The History
of the Lower Empire"; "The Christians had a
morality, but the Pagans had none."

Oh, M. Le Beau ! author of these fourteen
volumes, where did you pick up this absurdity?
What becomes of the morality of Socrates, of Zaleu-
cus, of Charondas, of Cicero, of Epictetus, and of
Marcus Aurelius ?

There is but one morality, M. Le Beau, as there
is but one geometry. But you will tell me that the
greater part of mankind are ignorant of geometry.
True ; but if they apply a little to the study of it, all
men draw the same conclusions. Agriculturists,
manufacturers, artisans, do not go through a regu-
lar course of morality; they read neither the "De
Finibus" of Cicero, nor the "Ethics" of Aristotle;
but as soon as they reflect, they are, without know-
ing it, disciples of Cicero. The Indian dyer, the
Tartarian shepherd, and the English seaman, are
acquainted with justice and injustice. Confucius
did not invent a system of morals, as men construct
physical systems. He found his in the hearts of all
mankind.

This morality existed in the bosom of the praetor
Festus, when the Jews pressed him to put Paul to
death for having taken strangers into their temple.
"Learn," said he, "that the Romans never con-
demn any one unheard."



20 Philosophical

If the Jews were deficient in a moral sense, the
Romans were not, and paid it homage.

There is no morality in superstition; it exists
not in ceremonies, and has nothing to do with dog-
mas. We cannot repeat too frequently that dogmas
differ, but that morality is the same among all men
who make use of their reason. Morality proceeds
from God, like light; our superstitions are only
darkness. Reflect, reader; pursue the truth, and
draw the consequences.

MOSES.

SECTION I.

PHILOSOPHY, of which we sometimes pass the
boundaries, researches of antiquity, and the spirit
of discussion and criticism, have been carried so
far that several learned men have finally doubted
if there ever was a Moses, and whether this man
was not an imaginary being, such as were Perseus,
Bacchus, Atlas, Penthesilea, Vesta, Rhea Silvia,
Isis, Sammonocodom, Fo, Mercury, Trismegistus,
Odin, Merlin, Francus, Robert the Devil, and so
many other heroes of romance whose lives and
prowess have been recorded.

It is not very likely, say the incredulous, that a
man ever existed whose life is a continual prodigy.

It is not very likely that he worked so many
stupendous miracles in Egypt, Arabia, and Syria,
without their being known throughout the world.



Dictionary. 21

It is not likely that no Egyptian or Greek writer
should have transmitted these miracles to posterity.
They are mentioned by the Jews alone ; and in the
time that this history was written by them, they
were not known to any nation not indeed until to-
wards the second century. The first author who
expressly quotes the Book of Moses is Longinus,
minister of Queen Zenobia, in the time of the em-
peror Aurelian.

It is to be remarked that the author of the "Mer-
cury Trismegistus" who certainly was an Egyptian,
says not a single word about this Moses.


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