Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/29

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13
Introduction.

on education, entitled Émile (1762), condemned by the Parlement of Paris to be torn and burnt at the foot of its great staircase. It was also burnt at Geneva. Three years later the same writer's Lettres de la Montagne were sentenced by the same tribunal to the same fate. Not all burnt books should be read, but Rousseau's Émile is one that should be.

So should the Marquis de Langle's Voyage en Espagne condemned to the flames in 1788, but translated into English, German, and Italian. De Langle anticipated this fate for his book if it ever passed the Pyrenees: "So much the better," said he; "the reader loves the books they burn, so does the publisher, and the author; it is his blue ribbon."

But, considering that he wrote against the Inquisition, and similar inhumanities or follies of Cathohcism, De Langle must have been surprised at the burning of his book in Paris itself.

A book at whose burning we may feel less surprise is the Théologie Portative ou Dictionnaire abrégé de la Religion Chrétienne, by the Abbé Bemier (1775), for a long time attributed to Voltaire, but really the work of an apostate monk, Dulaurent, who took refuge in Holland to write this and similar works.