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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 234 pages of information about Last of the Great Scouts .
nous ne nous devions jamais revoir; vous me regretterez, parce qu’on est bien aise de se savoir aime.’  That was her last word to him.  Walpole might have reached her before she finally lost consciousness, but, though he realised her condition and knew well enough what his presence would have been to her, he did not trouble to move.  She died as she had lived—­her room crowded with acquaintances and the sound of a conversation in her ears.  When one reflects upon her extraordinary tragedy, when one attempts to gauge the significance of her character and of her life, it is difficult to know whether to pity most, to admire, or to fear.  Certainly there is something at once pitiable and magnificent in such an unflinching perception of the futilities of living, such an uncompromising refusal to be content with anything save the one thing that it is impossible to have.  But there is something alarming too; was she perhaps right after all?

NOTES: 

[Footnote 2:  Lettres de la Marquise du Deffand a Horace Walpole (1766-80).  Premiere Edition complete, augmentee d’environ 500 Lettres inedites, publiees, d’apres les originaux, avec une introduction, des notes, et une table des noms, par Mrs. Paget Toynbee. 3 vols.  Methuen, 1912.]

VOLTAIRE AND ENGLAND[3]

The visit of Voltaire to England marks a turning-point in the history of civilisation.  It was the first step in a long process of interaction—­big with momentous consequences—­between the French and English cultures.  For centuries the combined forces of mutual ignorance and political hostility had kept the two nations apart:  Voltaire planted a small seed of friendship which, in spite of a thousand hostile influences, grew and flourished mightily.  The seed, no doubt, fell on good ground, and no doubt, if Voltaire had never left his native country, some chance wind would have carried it over the narrow seas, so that history in the main would have been unaltered.  But actually his was the hand which did the work.

It is unfortunate that our knowledge of so important a period in Voltaire’s life should be extremely incomplete.  Carlyle, who gave a hasty glance at it in his life of Frederick, declared that he could find nothing but ‘mere inanity and darkness visible’; and since Carlyle’s day the progress has been small.  A short chapter in Desnoiresterres’ long Biography and an essay by Churton Collins did something to co-ordinate the few known facts.  Another step was taken a few years ago with the publication of M. Lanson’s elaborate and exhaustive edition of the Lettres Philosophiques, the work in which Voltaire gave to the world the distilled essence of his English experiences.  And now M. Lucien Foulet has brought together all the extant letters concerning the period, which he has collated with scrupulous exactitude and to which he has added a series of valuable appendices upon various obscure and disputed points.  M. Lanson’s great attainments are well known, and to say that M. Foulet’s work may fitly rank as a supplementary volume to the edition of the Lettres Philosophiques is simply to say that he is a worthy follower of that noble tradition of profound research and perfect lucidity which has made French scholarship one of the glories of European culture.

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