French Classics

French Classics

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1900 edition. Excerpt: ...and increasing their felicity. It is not for himself that the gods have intrusted him with royalty. He is exalted above individuals only that he may be the servant of the people. To the public he owes all his time, all his attention, and all his love; he deserves dignity only in proportion as he gives up private enjoyments for the public good. Pretty sound doctrine, the foregoing, on the subject of the duties devolving on a king. The "paternal" idea, to be sure, of government is in it; but there is the idea, too, of limited or constitutional monarchy. The spirit of just and liberal political thought had, it seems, not been wholly extinguished, even at the court, by that oppression of mind--an oppression seldom, if ever, in human history exceeded--which was enforced under the unmitigated absolutism of Louis XIV. The literature that, with Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, the Encyclopaedists, prepared the Revolution, had already begun virtually to be written when Fenelon wrote his "Telemachus." It is easy to see why the fame of Fenelon should by exception have been dear even to the hottest infidel haters of that ecclesiastical hierarchy'to which the archbishop of Cambray himself belonged. This lover of liberty, this gentle rebuker of kings, was of the freethinkers, at least in the sympathy of political thought, ifay, the Revolution itself is foreshown in a remarkable glimpse of conjectural prophecy which occurs in-the "Telemaphus." Idomeneus is a headstrong king, whom Mentor is made by the author to reprove and instruct for the Duke of Burgundy's benefit. To Idomeneus--a character taken, and not unplausibly taken, to have been suggested to Fenelon by the example of Louis XIV.--to this imaginary counterpart of the...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 116 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 6mm | 222g
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236549090
  • 9781236549099