Abstract and Judgement of Saint- Pierre's Project for Perpetual Peace (1756)
ABSTRACT OF SAINT-PIERRE'S PROJECT
Never did the mind of man conceive a scheme nobler, more beautiful, or more useful than that of a lasting peace between all the peoples of Europe. Never did a writer better deserve a respectful hearing than he who suggests means for putting that scheme in practice. What man, if he has a spark of goodness, but must feel his heart glow within him at so fair a prospect? Who would not prefer the illusions of a generous spirit, which overleaps all obstacles, to that dry, repulsive reason whose indifference to the welfare of mankind is ever the chief obstacle to all schemes for its attainment?
I doubt not that many readers will forearm themselves with scepticism, as the best defence against the pleasure of yielding to conviction. I pity the melancholy mood which makes them take obstinacy for wisdom. On the other hand, I trust that every generous spirit will share the thrill of emotion with which I take up the pen on a subject which concerns mankind so closely. I see in my mind's eye all men joined in the bonds of love. I call before my thoughts a gentle and peaceful brotherhood, all living in
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Publication information: Book title: Rousseau on International Relations. Contributors: Stanley Hoffmann - Editor, David P. Fidler - Editor, Jean-Jacques Rousseau - Author. Publisher: Clarendon Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1991. Page number: 53.
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