It is important to kings and princes to be considered pious; and therefore they must confess themselves to you.
The following brief notes are mainly based on those of M. Brunschvicg. But those of MM. Faugere, Molinier, and Havet have also been consulted. The biblical references are to the Authorised English Version. Those in the text are to the Vulgate, except where it has seemed advisable to alter the reference to the English Version.
 P. 1, l. 1. The difference between the mathematical
intuitive mind.—Pascal is here distinguishing the logical or
discursive type of mind, a good example of which is found in
mathematical reasoning, and what we should call the intuitive type
of mind, which sees everything at a glance. A practical man of sound
judgment exemplifies the latter; for he is in fact guided by
impressions of past experience, and does not consciously reason from
 P. 2, l. 34. There are different kinds,
etc.—This is probably a
subdivision of the discursive type of mind.
 P. 3, l. 31. By rule.—This is
an emendation by M. Brunschvicg.
The MS. has sans regle.
 P. 4, l. 3. I judge by my watch.—Pascal
is said to have always
carried a watch attached to his left wrist-band.
 P. 5, l. 21. Scaramouch.—A traditional
character in Italian
 P. 5, l. 22. The doctor.—Also
a traditional character in Italian
 P. 5, l. 24. Cleobuline.—Princess,
and afterwards Queen of
Corinth, figures in the romance of Mademoiselle de Scudery, entitled
Artamene 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.
 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
 P. 6, l. 30. Salomon de Tultie.—A
pseudonym adopted by Pascal as
the author of the Provincial Letters.
 P. 7, l. 7. Abstine et sustine.—A maxim of the Stoics.
 P. 7, l. 8. Follow nature.—The
maxim in which the Stoics summed
up their positive ethical teaching.
 P. 7, l. 9. As Plato.—Compare Montaigne, Essais, iii, 9.
 P. 9, l. 29. We call this jargon poetical
M. Havet, Pascal refers here to Malherbe and his school.