The Ancient Regime eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 652 pages of information about The Ancient Regime.

[34] “Confessions,” part 2, IX. 361.  “I was so weary of drawing-rooms, of jets of water, of bowers, of flower-beds and of those that showed them to me; I was so overwhelmed with pamphlets, harpsichords, games, knots, stupid witticisms, simpering looks, petty story-tellers and heavy suppers, that when I spied out a corner in a hedge, a bush, a barn, a meadow, or when, on passing through a hamlet, I caught the smell of a good parsley omelet . .  I sent to the devil all the rouge, frills, flounces and perfumery, and, regretting a plain dinner and common wine, I would gladly have closed the mouth of both the head cook and the butler who forced me to dine when I generally sup, and to sup when a generally go to bed, but, especially the lackeys that envied me every morsel I ate and who, at the risk of my dying with thirst, sold me the drugged wine of their master at ten times the price I would have to pay for a better wine at a tavern.”

[35] “Discours sur l’influence des sciences et des arts” —­ The letter to d’Alembert on theatrical performances.

[36] Does it not read like a declaration of intent for forming a Kibbutz? (Sr.)

[37] “The high society (La societé) is as natural to the human species as decrepitude to the individual.  The people require arts, laws, and governments, as old men require crutches.”  See the letter M. Philopolis, p. 248.

[38] See the discourse on the “Origine de l’Inégalite,” passim.

[39] “Emile,” book IV.  Rousseau’s narrative.  P. 13.

[40] “Discours sur l’économie politique,” 326.

[41] “Discours sur l’Origine de l’Inégalité,” 178, “Contrat Social,” I. ch.  IV.

[42] Condorcet, “Tableau des progrès de l’esprit humain,” the tenth epoch.


I. Liberty, equality and sovereignty of the people.

The mathematical method. — Definition of man in the abstract. — The social contract. — Independence and equality of the contractors. — All equal before the law and each sharing in the sovereignty.

Consider future society as it appears at this moment to our legislators in their study, and bear in mind that it will soon appear under the same aspect to the legislators of the Assembly. — In their eyes the decisive moment has come.  Henceforth two histories are to exist;[1] one, that of the past, the other, that of the future, formerly a history of Man still deprived of his reason, and at present the history of the rational human being.  The rule of right is at last to begin.  Of all that the past generations have founded and transmitted nothing is legitimate.  Overlaying the natural Man they created an artificial Man, either ecclesiastic or laic, noble or commoner, sovereign or subject, proprietor or proletary, ignorant or cultivated, peasant

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The Ancient Regime from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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