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THE labours and opinions of Voltaire have engaged the attention of a whole century. His cotemporaries, in their estimation of his character and talents, were divided into two parties, his admirers and his enemies-equally warm in their panegyrics or censure, but not equally numerous. The French Revolution, with all its train of horrors, seems to have occurred expressly to pass sen-, tence on his philosophical opinions. The excesses of that dreadful period have excited his adversaries to renew their attacks on his literary fame. Those who have been the victims of political changes, have risen against his memory with the utmost keenness of resentment; and were we to listen to the language of passion or enthusiasm, which still animates every debate on the subject of this extraordinary man, it would be as difficult a task as ever to ascertain what rank in the estimation of mankind we are to place Voltaire, as a philosopher and as an author-the man whom Europe, and the sovereigns of Europe, have so much caressed in his lifetime; on whose head the laurel of literature was placed from the stage, which, for sixty years, had resounded with his fame; and to whom the people have since, in the enthusiasm of their admiration and zeal, decreed the splendid honour of apotheosis. That wonderful activity of mind and facility of genius, which produced such innumerable works, also exposed him to numberless difficulties, which alone might have filled the long existence of an ordinary man. But they have already been related in a variety of other publications. We are contracted within narrower limits, though we shall omit nothing essential in this memoir of his life.

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