Blaise Pascal.

Pascal's Pensées online

. (page 24 of 26)
Online LibraryBlaise PascalPascal's Pensées → online text (page 24 of 26)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


judgment exemplifies the latter; for he is in fact guided by
impressions of past experience, and does not consciously reason from
general principles.

[2] P. 2, l. 34. _There are different kinds_, etc. - This is probably a
subdivision of the discursive type of mind.

[3] P. 3, l. 31. _By rule._ - This is an emendation by M. Brunschvicg.
The MS. has _sans règle_.

[4] P. 4, l. 3. _I judge by my watch._ - Pascal is said to have always
carried a watch attached to his left wrist-band.

[5] P. 5, l. 21. _Scaramouch._ - A traditional character in Italian
comedy.

[6] P. 5, l. 22. _The doctor._ - Also a traditional character in Italian
comedy.

[7] P. 5, l. 24. _Cleobuline._ - Princess, and afterwards Queen of
Corinth, figures in the romance of Mademoiselle de Scudéry, entitled
_Artamène ou le Grand Cyrus_. She is enamoured of one of her
subjects, Myrinthe. But she "loved him without thinking of love; and
remained so long in that error, that this affection was no longer in
a state to be overcome, when she became aware of it." The character
is supposed to have been drawn from Christina of Sweden.

[8] P. 6, l. 21. _Rivers are_, etc. - Apparently suggested by a chapter
in Rabelais: _How we descended in the isle of Odes, in which the
roads walk_.

[9] P. 6, l. 30. _Salomon de Tultie._ - A pseudonym adopted by Pascal as
the author of the _Provincial Letters_.

[10] P. 7, l. 7. _Abstine et sustine._ - A maxim of the Stoics.

[11] P. 7, l. 8. _Follow nature._ - The maxim in which the Stoics summed
up their positive ethical teaching.

[12] P. 7, l. 9. _As Plato._ - Compare Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 9.

[13] P. 9, l. 29. _We call this jargon poetical beauty._ - According to
M. Havet, Pascal refers here to Malherbe and his school.

[14] P. 10, l. 23. _Ne quid nimis._ - Nothing in excess, a celebrated
maxim in ancient Greek philosophy.

[15] P. 11, l. 26. _That epigram about two one-eyed people._ - M. Havet
points out that this is not Martial's, but is to be found in
_Epigrammatum Delectus_, published by Port-Royal in 1659.

_Lumine Æon dextro, capta est Leonilla sinistro,
Et potis est forma vincere uterque deos.
Blande puer, lumen quod habes concede parenti,
Sic tu cæcus Amor, sic erit ilia Venus._

[16] P. 11, l. 29. _Ambitiosa recidet ornamenta._ - Horace, _De Arte
Poetica_, 447.

[17] P. 13, l. 2. _Cartesian._ - One who follows the philosophy of
Descartes (1596-1650), "the father of modern philosophy."

[18] P. 13, l. 8. _Le Maître._ - A famous French advocate in Pascal's
time. His _Plaidoyers el Harangues_ appeared in 1657. _Plaidoyer
VI_ is entitled _Pour un fils mis en religion par force_, and on
the first page occurs the word _répandre_: "_Dieu qui répand des
aveuglements et des ténèbres sur les passions illégitimes._"
Pascal's reference is probably to this passage.

[19] P. 13, l. 12. _The Cardinal._ - Mazarin. He was one of those
statesmen who do not like condolences.

[20] P. 14, l. 12. _Saint Thomas._ - Thomas Aquinas (1223-74), one of the
greatest scholastic philosophers.

[21] P. 14, l. 16. _Charron._ - A friend of Montaigne. His _Traité de la
Sagesse_ (1601), which is not a large book, contains 117 chapters,
each of which is subdivided.

[22] P. 14, l. 17. _Of the confusion of Montaigne._ - The Essays of
Montaigne follow each other without any kind of order.

[23] P. 14, l. 27. _Mademoiselle de Gournay._ - The adopted daughter of
Montaigne. She published in 1595 an edition of his _Essais_, and,
in a Preface (added later), she defends him on this point.

[24] P. 15, l. 1. _People without eyes._ - Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[25] P. 15, l. 1. _Squaring the circle._ - Ibid., ii, 14.

[26] P. 15, l. 1. _A greater world._ - Ibid., ii, 12.

[27] P. 15, l. 2. _On suicide and on death._ - Ibid., ii, 3.

[28] P. 15, l. 3. _Without fear and without repentance._ - Ibid., iii.,
2.

[29] P. 15, l. 7. (730, 231). - These two references of Pascal are to the
edition of the _Essais_ of Montaigne, published in 1636.

[30] P. 16, l. 32. _The centre which is everywhere, and the
circumference nowhere._ - M. Havet traces this saying to
Empedocles. Pascal must have read it in Mlle de Gournay's preface
to her edition of Montaigne's _Essais_.

[31] P. 18, l. 33. _I will speak of the whole._ - This saying of
Democritus is quoted by Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[32] P. 18, l. 37. _Principles of Philosophy._ - The title of one of
Descartes's philosophical writings, published in 1644. See note on
p. 13, l. 8 above.

[33] P. 18, l. 39. _De omni scibili._ - The title under which Pico della
Mirandola announced nine hundred propositions which he proposed to
uphold publicly at Rome in 1486.

[34] P. 19, l. 26. _Beneficia eo usque læta sunt._ - Tacitus, _Ann._,
lib. iv, c. xviii. Compare Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 8.

[35] P. 21, l. 35. _Modus quo_, etc. - St. Augustine, _De Civ. Dei_, xxi,
10. Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[36] P. 22, l. 8. _Felix qui_, etc. - Virgil, _Georgics_, ii, 489, quoted
by Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 10.

[37] P. 22, l. 10. _Nihil admirari_, etc. - Horace, _Epistles_, I. vi. 1.
Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 10.

[38] P. 22, l. 19. 394. - A reference to Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[39] P. 22, l. 20. 395. - Ibid.

[40] P. 22, l. 22. 399. - Ibid.

[41] P. 22, l. 28. _Harum sententiarum._ - Cicero, _Tusc._, i, 11,
Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[42] P. 22, l. 39. _Felix qui_, etc. - See above, notes on p. 22, l. 8
and l. 10.

[43] P. 22, l. 40. 280 _kinds of sovereign good in
Montaigne._ - _Essais_, ii, 12.

[44] P. 23, l. 1. _Part I_, 1, 2, _c_. 1, _section_ 4. - This reference
is to Pascal's _Traité du vide_.

[45] P. 23, l. 25. _How comes it_, etc. - Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 8.

[46] P. 23, l. 29. See Epictetus, _Diss._, iv, 6. He was a great Roman
Stoic in the time of Domitian.

[47] P. 24, l. 9. _It is natural_, etc. - Compare Montaigne, _Essais_, i,
4.

[48] P. 24, l. 12. _Imagination._ - This fragment is suggestive of
Montaigne. See _Essais_, iii, 8.

[49] P. 25, l. 16. _If the greatest philosopher_, etc. See Raymond
Sebond's _Apologie_, from which Pascal has derived his
illustrations.

[50] P. 26, l. 1. _Furry cats._ - Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 8.

[51] P. 26, l. 31. _Della opinione_, etc. - No work is known under this
name. It may refer to a treatise by Carlo Flori, which bears a
title like this. But its date (1690) is after Pascal's death
(1662), though there may have been earlier editions.

[52] P. 27, l. 12. _Source of error in diseases._ - Montaigne, _Essais_,
ii, 12.

[53] P. 27, l. 27. _They rival each other_, etc. - Ibid.

[54] P. 28, l. 31. _Næ iste_, etc. - Terence, _Heaut._, IV, i, 8.
Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 1.

[55] P. 28, l. 15. _Quasi quidquam_, etc. - Plin., ii, 7. Montaigne,
ibid.

[56] P. 28, l. 29. _Quod crebro_, etc. - Cicero, _De Divin._, ii, 49.

[57] P. 29, l. 1. _Spongia solis._ - The spots on the sun. Pascal sees in
them the beginning of the darkening of the sun, and thinks that
there will therefore come a day when there will be no sun.

[58] P. 29, l. 15. _Custom is a second nature_, etc. - Montaigne,
_Essais_, i, 22.

[59] P. 29, l. 19. _Omne animal._ - See Genesis vii, 14.

[60] P. 30, l. 22. _Hence savages_, etc. - Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 22.

[61] P. 32, l. 3. _A great part of Europe_, etc. - An allusion to the
Reformation.

[62] P. 33, l. 13. _Alexander's chastity._ - Pascal apparently has in
mind Alexander's treatment of Darius's wife and daughters after the
battle of Issus.

[63] P. 34, l. 17. _Lustravit lampade terras._ - Part of Cicero's
translation of two lines from Homer, _Odyssey_, xviii, 136.
Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

_Tales sunt hominum mentes, quali pater ipse
Jupiter auctiferas lustravit lampade terras._

[64] P. 34, l. 32. _Nature gives_, etc. - Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 19.

[65] P. 37, l. 23. _Our nature consists_, etc. - Montaigne, _Essais_,
iii, 13.

[66] P. 38, l. 1. _Weariness._ - Compare Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[67] P. 38, l. 8. _Cæsar was too old_, etc. - See Montaigne, _Essais_,
ii, 34.

[68] P. 38, l. 30. _A mere trifle_, etc. - Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 4.

[69] P. 40, l. 21. _Advice given to Pyrrhus._ - Ibid., i, 42.

[70] P. 41, l. 2. _They do not know_, etc. - Ibid., i, 19.

[71] P. 44, l. 14. _They are_, etc. - Compare Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 38.

[72] P. 46, l. 7. _Those who write_, etc. - A thought of Cicero in _Pro
Archia_, mentioned by Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 41.

[73] P. 47, l. 3. _Ferox gens._ - Livy, xxxiv, 17. Montaigne, _Essais_,
i, 40.

[74] P. 47, l. 5. _Every opinion_, etc. - Montaigne, ibid.

[75] P. 47, l. 12. 184. - This is a reference to Montaigne, _Essais_, i,
40. See also ibid., iii, 10.

[76] P. 48, l. 8. _I know not what (Corneille)._ - See _Médée,_ II, vi,
and _Rodogune_, I, v.

[77] P. 48, l. 22. _In omnibus requiem quæsivi._ - Eccles. xxiv, II, in
the Vulgate.

[78] P. 50, l. 5. _The future alone is our end._ - Montaigne, _Essais_, i,
3.

[79] P. 50, l. 14. _Solomon._ - Considered by Pascal as the author of
Ecclesiastes.

[80] P. 50, l. 20. _Unconscious of approaching fever._ - Compare
Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 19.

[81] P. 50, l. 22. _Cromwell._ - Cromwell died in 1658 of a fever, and
not of the gravel. The Restoration took place in 1660, and this
fragment was written about that date.

[82] P. 50, l. 28. _The three hosts._ - Charles I was beheaded in 1649;
Queen Christina of Sweden abdicated in 1654; Jean Casimir, King of
Poland, was deposed in 1656.

[83] P. 50, l. 32. _Macrobius._ - A Latin writer of the fifth century. He
was a Neo-Platonist in philosophy. One of his works is entitled
_Saturnalia_.

[84] P. 51, l. 5. _The great and the humble_, etc. - See Montaigne,
_Essais_, ii, 12.

[85] P. 53, l. 5. _Miton._ - A man of fashion in Paris known to Pascal.

[86] P. 53, l. 15. _Deus absconditus._ - Is. xiv, 15.

[87] P. 60, l. 26. _Fascinatio nugacitatis._ - Book of Wisdom iv, 12.

[88] P. 61, l. 10. _Memoria hospitis_, etc. - Book of Wisdom v, 15.

[89] P. 62, l. 5. _Instability._ - Compare Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 12.

[90] P. 66, l. 19. _Foolishness, stultitium._ - I Cor. i, 18.

[91] P. 71, l. 5. _To prove Divinity from the works of nature._ - A
traditional argument of the Stoics like Cicero and Seneca, and of
rationalist theologians like Raymond Sebond, Charron, etc. It is
the argument from Design in modern philosophy.

[92] P. 71, l. 27. _Nemo novit_, etc. - Matthew xi, 27. In the Vulgate,
it is _Neque patrem quis novit_, etc. Pascal's biblical quotations
are often incorrect. Many seem to have been made from memory.

[93] P. 71, l. 30. _Those who seek God find Him._ - Matthew vii, 7.

[94] P. 72, l. 3. _Vere tu es Deus absconditus._ - Is. xiv, 15.

[95] P. 72, l. 22. _Ne evacuetur crux Christi._ - I Cor. i, 17. In the
Vulgate we have_ut non_ instead of _ne_.

[96] P. 72, l. 25. _The machine._ - A Cartesian expression. Descartes
considered animals as mere automata. According to Pascal, whatever
does not proceed in us from reflective thought is a product of a
necessary mechanism, which has its root in the body, and which is
continued into the mind in imagination and the passions. It is
therefore necessary for man so to alter, and adjust this mechanism,
that it will always follow, and not obstruct, the good will.

[97] P. 73, l. 3. _Justus ex fide vivit._ - Romans i, 17.

[98] P. 73, l. 5. _Fides ex auditu._ - Romans x, 17.

[99] P. 73, l. 12. _The creature._ - What is purely natural in us.

[100] P. 74, l. 15. _Inclina cor meum, Deus._ - Ps. cxix, 36.

[101] P. 75, l. 11. _Unus quisque sibi Deum fingit._ - See Book of Wisdom
xv, 6, 16.

[102] P. 76, l. 34. _Eighth beatitude._ - Matthew v, 10. It is to the
fourth beatitude that the thought directly refers.

[103] P. 77, l. 6. _One thousand and twenty-eight._ - The number of the
stars according to Ptolemy's catalogue.

[104] P. 77, l. 29. _Saint Augustine._ - _Epist._ cxx, 3.

[105] P. 78, l. 1. _Nisi efficiamini sicut parvuli._ - Matthew xviii, 3.

[106] P. 80, l. 20. _Inclina cor meum, Deus, in_.... - Ps. cxix, 36.

[107] P. 80, l. 22. _Its establishment._ - The constitution of the
Christian Church.

[108] P. 81, l. 20. _The youths and maidens and children of the Church
would prophesy._ - Joel ii, 28.

[109] P. 83, l. 11. _On what_, etc. - See Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[110] P. 84, l. 16. _Nihil amplius ... est._ - Ibid. Cicero, _De
Finibus_, v, 21.

[111] P. 84, l. 17. _Ex senatus ... exercentur._ - Montaigne, _Essais_,
iii, 1. Seneca, _Letters_, 95.

[112] P. 84, l. 18. _Ut olim ... laboramus._ - Montaigne, _Essais_, iii,
13. Tacitus, _Ann._, iii, 25.

[113] P. 84, l. 20. _The interest of the sovereign._ - The view of
Thrasymachus in Plato's _Republic_, i, 338.

[114] P. 84, l. 21. _Another, present custom._ - The doctrine of the
Cyrenaics. Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 13.

[115] P. 84, l. 24. _The mystical foundation of its
authority._ - Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 13. See also ii, 12.

[116] P. 85, l. 2. _The wisest of legislators._ - Plato. See _Republic_,
ii, 389, and v, 459.

[117] P. 85, l. 4. _Cum veritatem_, etc. - An inexact quotation from St.
Augustine, _De Civ. Dei_, iv, 27. Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[118] P. 85, l. 17. _Veri juris._ - Cicero, _De Officiis_, iii, 17.
Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, I.

[119] P. 86, l. 9. _When a strong man_, etc. - Luke xi, 21.

[120] P. 86, l. 26. _Because he who will_, etc. - See Epictetus, _Diss._,
iii, 12.

[121] P. 88, l. 19. _Civil wars are the greatest of evils._ - Montaigne,
_Essais_, iii, 11.

[122] P. 89, l. 5. _Montaigne._ - _Essais_, i, 42.

[123] P. 91, l. 8. _Savages laugh at an infant king._ - An allusion to a
visit of some savages to Europe. They were greatly astonished to
see grown men obey the child king, Charles IX. Montaigne,
_Essais_, i, 30.

[124] P. 92, l. 8. _Man's true state._ - See Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 54.

[125] P. 95, l. 3. _Omnis ... vanitati._ - Eccles. iii, 19.

[126] P. 95, l. 4. _Liberabitur._ - Romans viii, 20-21.

[127] P. 95, l. 4. _Saint Thomas._ - In his Commentary on the Epistle of
St. James. James ii, 1.

[128] P. 96, l. 9. _The account of the pike and frog of Liancourt._ - The
story is unknown. The Duc de Liancourt led a vicious life in
youth, but was converted by his wife. He became one of the firmest
supporters of Port-Royal.

[129] P. 97, l. 18. _Philosophers._ - The Stoics.

[130] P. 97, l. 24. _Epictetus._ - _Diss._, iv, 7.

[131] P. 97, l. 26. _Those great spiritual efforts_, etc. - On this, and
the following fragment, see Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 29.

[132] P. 98, l. 3. _Epaminondas._ - Praised by Montaigne, _Essais_, ii,
36. See also iii, 1.

[133] P. 98, l. 17. _Plerumque gratæ principibus vices._ - Horace,
_Odes_, III, xxix, 13, cited by Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 42. Horace
has _divitibus_ instead of _principibus_.

[134] P. 99, l. 4. _Man is neither angel nor brute_, etc. - Montaigne,
_Essais_, iii, 13.

[135] P. 99, l. 14. _Ut sis contentus_, etc. - A quotation from Seneca.
See Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 3.

[136] P. 99, l. 21. _Sen._ 588. - Seneca, _Letter to Lucilius_, xv.
Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, I.

[137] P. 99, l. 23. _Divin._ - Cicero, _De Divin._, ii, 58.

[138] P. 99, l. 25. _Cic._ - Cicero, _Tusc_, ii, 2. The quotation is
inaccurate. Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[139] P. 99, l. 27. _Senec._ - Seneca, _Epist._, 106.

[140] P. 99, l. 28. _Id maxime_, etc. - Cicero, _De Off._, i, 31.

[141] P. 99, l. 29. _Hos natura_, etc. - Virgil, _Georgics_, ii, 20.

[142] P. 99, l. 30. _Paucis opus_, etc. - Seneca, _Epist._, 106.

[143] P. 100, l. 3. _Mihi sic usus_, etc. - Terence, _Heaut._, I, i, 28.

[144] P. 100, l. 4. _Rarum est_, etc. - Quintilian, x, 7.

[145] P. 100, l. 5. _Tot circa_, etc. - M. Seneca, _Suasoriæ_, i, 4.

[146] P. 100, l. 6. _Cic._ - Cicero, _Acad._, i, 45.

[147] P. 100, l. 7. _Nec me pudet_, etc. - Cicero, _Tusc._, i, 25.

[148] P. 100, l. 8. _Melius non incipiet._ - The rest of the quotation is
_quam desinet_. Seneca, _Epist._, 72.

[149] P. 100, l. 25. _They win battles._ - Montaigne, in his _Essais_,
ii, 12, relates that the Portuguese were compelled to raise the
siege of Tamly on account of the number of flies.

[150] P. 100, l. 27. _When it is said_, etc. - By Descartes.

[151] P. 102, l. 20. _Arcesilaus._ - A follower of Pyrrho, the sceptic.
He lived in the third century before Christ.

[152] P. 105, l. 20. _Ecclesiastes._ - Eccles. viii, 17.

[153] P. 106, l. 16. _The academicians._ - Dogmatic sceptics, as opposed
to sceptics who doubt their own doubt.

[154] P. 107, l. 10. _Ego vir videns._ - Lamentations iii, I.

[155] P. 108, l. 26. _Evil is easy_, etc. - The Pythagoreans considered
the good as certain and finite, and evil as uncertain and
infinite. Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 9.

[156] P. 109, l. 7. _Paulus Æmilius._ - Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 19.
Cicero, _Tusc._, v, 40.

[157] P. 109, l. 30. _Des Barreaux._ - Author of a licentious love song.
He was born in 1602, and died in 1673. Balzac call him "the new
Bacchus."

[158] P. 110, l. 16. _For Port-Royal._ - The letters, A. P. R., occur in
several places, and are generally thought to indicate what will be
afterwards treated in lectures or conferences at Port-Royal, the
famous Cistercian abbey, situated about eighteen miles from Paris.
Founded early in the thirteenth century, it acquired its greatest
fame in its closing years. Louis XIV was induced to believe it
heretical; and the monastery was finally demolished in 1711. Its
downfall was no doubt brought about by the Jesuits.

[159] P. 113, l. 4. _They all tend to this end._ - Montaigne, _Essais_,
i, 19.

[160] P. 119, l. 15. _Quod ergo_, etc. - Acts xvii, 23.

[161] P. 119, l. 26. _Wicked demon._ - Descartes had suggested the
possibility of the existence of an _evil genius_ to justify his
method of universal doubt. See his _First Meditation_. The
argument is quite Cartesian.

[162] P. 122, l. 18. _Deliciæ meæ_, etc. - Proverbs viii, 31.

[163] P. 122, l. 18. _Effundam spiritum_, etc. - Is. xliv, 3; Joel ii,
28.

[164] P. 122, l. 19. _Dii estis._ - Ps. lxxxii, 6.

[165] P. 122, l. 20. _Omnis caro fænum._ - Is. xl, 6.

[166] P. 122, l. 20. _Homo assimilatus_, etc. - Ps. xlix, 20.

[167] P. 124, l. 24. _Sapientius est hominibus._ - 1 Cor. i, 25.

[168] P. 125, l. 1. _Of original sin._ - The citations from the Rabbis in
this fragment are borrowed from a work of the Middle Ages,
entitled _Pugio christianorum ad impiorum perfidiam jugulandam et
maxime judæorum_. It was written in the thirteenth century by
Raymond Martin, a Catalonian monk. An edition of it appeared in
1651, edited by Bosquet, Bishop of Lodève.

[169] P. 125, l. 24. _Better is a poor and wise child_, etc. - Eccles.
iv, 13.

[170] P. 126, l. 17. _Nemo ante_, etc. - See Ovid, _Met._, iii, 137, and
Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 18.

[171] P. 127, l. 10. _Figmentum._ - Borrowed from the Vulgate, Ps. ciii,
14.

[172] P. 128. l. 5. _All that is in the world_, etc. - First Epistle of
St. John, ii, 16.

[173] P. 128, l. 7. _Wretched is_, etc. - M. Faugère thinks this thought
is taken from St. Augustine's Commentary on Ps. cxxxvii, _Super
flumina Babylonis._

[174] P. 129, l. 6. _Qui gloriatur_, etc. - 1 Cor. i, 31.

[175] P. 130, l. 13. _Via, veritas._ - John xiv, 6.

[176] P. 130, l. 14. _Zeno._ - The original founder of Stoicism.

[177] P. 130, l. 15. _Epictetus._ - _Diss._, iv, 6, 7.

[178] P. 131, l. 32. _A body full of thinking members._ - See I Cor. xii.

[179] P. 133, l. 5. _Book of Wisdom._ - ii, 6.

[180] P. 134, l. 28. _Qui adhæret_, etc. - 1 Cor. vi, 17.

[181] P. 134, l. 36. _Two laws._ - Matthew xxii, 35-40; Mark xii, 28-31.

[182] P. 135, l. 6. _The kingdom of God is within us._ - Luke xvii, 29.

[183] P. 137, l. 1. _Et non_, etc. - Ps. cxliii, 2.

[184] P. 137, l. 3. _The goodness of God leadeth to repentance._ - Romans
ii, 4.

[185] P. 137, l. 5. _Let us do penance_, etc. - See Jonah iii, 8, 9.

[186] P. 137, l. 27. _I came to send war._ - Matthew x, 34.

[187] P. 137, l. 28. _I came to bring fire and the sword._ - Luke xii,
49.

[188] P. 138, l. 2. _Pharisee and the Publican._ - Parable in Luke xviii,
9-14.

[189] P. 138, l. 13. _Abraham._ - Genesis xiv, 22-24.

[190] P. 138, l. 17. _Sub te erit appetitus tuus._ - Genesis iv, 7.

[191] P. 140, l. 1. _It is_, etc. - A discussion on the Eucharist.

[192] P. 140, l. 34. _Non sum dignus._ - Luke vii, 6.

[193] P. 140, l. 35. _Qui manducat indignus._ - I Cor. xi, 29.

[194] P. 140, l. 36. _Dignus est accipere._ - Apoc. iv, II.

[195] P. 141. In the French edition on which this translation is based
there was inserted the following fragment after No. 513:

"Work out your own salvation with fear."

Proofs of prayer. _Petenti dabitur._

Therefore it is in our power to ask. On the other hand, there is
God. So it is not in our power, since the obtaining of (the
grace) to pray to Him is not in our power. For since salvation
is not in us, and the obtaining of such grace is from Him,
prayer is not in our power.

The righteous man should then hope no more in God, for he ought
not to hope, but to strive to obtain what he wants.

Let us conclude then that, since man is now unrighteous since
the first sin, and God is unwilling that he should thereby not
be estranged from Him, it is only by a first effect that he is
not estranged.

Therefore, those who depart from God have not this first effect
without which they are not estranged from God, and those who do
not depart from God have this first effect. Therefore, those
whom we have seen possessed for some time of grace by this first
effect, cease to pray, for want of this first effect.

Then God abandons the first in this sense.

It is doubtful, however that this fragment should be included in
the _Pensées_, and it has seemed best to separate it from the
text. It has only once before appeared - in the edition of
Michaut (1896). The first half of it has been freely translated
in order to give an interpretation in accordance with a
suggestion from M. Emile Boutroux, the eminent authority on
Pascal. The meaning seems to be this. In one sense it is in our
power to ask from God, who promises to give us what we ask. But,
in another sense, it is not in our power to ask; for it is not
in our power to obtain the grace which is necessary in asking.
We know that salvation is not in our power. Therefore some
condition of salvation is not in our power. Now the conditions
of salvation are two: (1) The asking for it, and (2) the
obtaining it. But God promises to give us what we ask. Hence the
obtaining is in our power. Therefore the condition which is not
in our power must be the first, namely, the asking. Prayer
presupposes a grace which it is not within our power to obtain.

After giving the utmost consideration to the second half of this
obscure fragment, and seeking assistance from some eminent
scholars, the translator has been compelled to give a strictly
literal translation of it, without attempting to make sense.

[196] P. 141, l. 14. _Lord, when saw we_, etc. - Matthew xxv, 37.

[197] P. 143, l. 19. _Qui justus est, justificetur adhuc._ - Apoc. xxii,
II.

[198] P. 144, l. 2. _Corneille._ - See his _Horace_, II, iii.

[199] P. 144, l. 15. _Corrumpunt mores_, etc. - I Cor. xv, 33.

[200] P. 145. l. 25. _Quod curiositate_, etc. - St. Augustine, _Sermon
CXLI_.

[201] P. 146, l. 34. _Quia ... facere._ - I Cor. i, 21.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 24 26

Online LibraryBlaise PascalPascal's Pensées → online text (page 24 of 26)