Choose any of Voltaire's writings, from an epigram to a book, and it impresses the mind with a unique sense of a quality which it would be absurd to liken to omniscience, though mere versatility falls short on the other side. So the tracing of his life‐ experiences leaves us puzzled for a conventional term that shall exactly fit the case. The truth is that ordinary terms fail when applied to this man and to his works. It is unprofitable to measure a giant by the standards of average men. The root-cause of all the vilification and harsh criticism hurled at Voltaire by ordinarily respectworthy people has been the hopeless inability of the church-schooled multitude to grasp the free play of a marvellous intellect, which could no more submit to be shackled by the ecclesiasticism of its day than the brave Reformer of Galilee could trim his conscience to fit the saddles of Jewish or Roman riders. To condense the events of this remarkably chequered career in a few pages is impossible without omitting minor items which, unimportant in themselves, yet reflect the flashings of the lesser facets which contribute to the varied lights of the diamond. Mr. Morley's lucid and powerful study of Voltaire, in this series, leaves room for the following attempt at a reasonably brief outline of the events in this multiform life. The object is to aid in understanding the hidden conditions in which many of the strong, and sometimes apparently extravagant, utterances were produced.